#firstandforever: Jo Fuertes-Knight’s first look
Potty-mouthed blogger and NME/Vice scribe Jo Fuertes-Knight talks us through how a wig, makeshift tattoos, a pair of fresh Doc Martens and an escape from suburbia came together to bring memories of a gloriously dorky but carefree childhood flooding back. This is the fourth in le cool’s series of #firstandforever stories by Londoners and brought to you by Dr. Martens.
A five-quid peroxide-blonde wig, denim short-shorts, some artfully executed ‘I heart Sid Vicious’ biro tattoos and a pair of Doc Martens on their maiden voyage out of the box, and I had magically transformed myself into Nancy Spungen. Kind of. This wasn’t to be a permanent look, but it was a ‘look’ at least, something I’d never had before. It was the fancy dress outfit for my house-warming at the first place of my own in London – a worthy reason to celebrate. However, in true Nancy style, I passed out before all the guests had even arrived and by midnight, boots still firmly on, I was tucked up in bed.
But it wasn’t the first time I’ve had a pair of Doc Martens pretty much surgically attached to me. In fact, I’d had an almost identical pair of cherry-red kids’ boots, procured with much effort from my big sister. I wore them with absolutely everything, which in hindsight must have been quite a sight to see – an extremely lanky, racially ambiguous nine-year-old girl stomping around suburbia in two-sizes-too-big DMs and with a painfully smart floral dress. But I didn’t care.
By my teenage years however, the obligatory awkwardness of puberty had kicked in and all I wanted to do was blend into the background and belong. It wasn’t until that very first flat and the escape from the lacklustre checklisting culture of my teens, mentally ticking off things I thought I should wear to keep up with my peers, that I started to question why I was trying to blend into the background in the first place. Growing pains over, as I strode into my twenties I realised that if you don’t fit in, then stand out.