Still not over Avril Lavigne

Once upon a time, I was 12 years old, happily enjoying my small world of music. The only genres very real to me were classical, pop, rock, praise and Lea Salonga. Back then, I was very much into MTV and 97.1 WLSFM (I still remember the melody by which “WLSFM” was sung in the jingle). During those days, they’d be playing Linkin Park, Evanescence and of course, Avril Lavigne.

Avril Lavigne. After hearing “Complicated” and “Sk8er Boi,” falling in love was inevitable. I was wide-eyed and slack-jawed. I fell in love in a very naive and childlike sense. I was infatuated with her voice, her blue-gray eyes, her spunk and straight-as-heck hair.

It was perhaps the very conception of my own parent-independent cultural engagement, which would only bloom much later on. (In the years prior to this, I used to sing and/or dance to Michael Jackson or the Backstreet Boys/A1/Westlife at family reunions on Christmas-New Year, but I’ll spare the details for the benefit of humanity.)

I knew I had to have her album. After a trip to this record store in SM Megamall (I’m not sure what shop occupies its space today, but at some point, it was PowerBooks), I had a gem in my hands, in the form of “Let Go.” I ogled at the cover and there she was – against a blurred background, she stood deadpan, staring straight ahead, arms crossed, wearing baggy black jeans.

Almost ten years have passed and naturally, we all have to grow up. Today, Avril no longer sports the cap-shirt-tie-jeans-sneakers combination. Now, she’s bold enough to show up in nothing more than her underwear (not that I’m complaining) and sing wet in a tub (Wish You were Here). She no longer spontaneously tries on deodorant or drive a kid’s mini-car in the mall (Complicated) or skates. Today, she’s done a photoshoot for Maxim (again, I am not complaining).

I still support her, albeit much differently from the way I did years ago. Sure, I’ve accepted the changes. I have to. But some part of me still can’t and won’t. I guess that’s okay. There will always be that part of me that remembers the Avril Lavigne who was reckless, carefree and young – as I was. I will forever keep in my heart the Avril Lavigne who existed before the world got older and complicated. As for the skimpier girl today, fine. I’ll still keep her – albeit much differently from the way I did years ago.

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