Thursday, November 1, 2012

a girl's bedroom

Two weeks ago in our class we were discussing bedroom culture, and I had the pleasure to prepare an animation with my classmate Jenny. There, we presented various depictions of girls' bedrooms, including a prank that was done to a  male teenager in which his brother turned his room into a girl's room. 

We also showed a wonderful website that Jenny found, which contains a project called A Girl and Her Room. This photography project, done by Rania Matar, consists of an array of pictures of different girls of various ages in their bedrooms. As we observed, each bedroom can tell something about the girl's personality. You can visit the project here.

As we observed and discussed these bedrooms, I thought about my bedroom, the changes it had gone through, my new bedroom and what it meant to me, and started to think about my years as a tween and teenager and how much time I spent in my room. 

When I was little, I had a shared room with my two sisters. It wasn't a very big room, sot it was often uncomfortable and crowded. Imagine having just one closet for three girls; storing our clothes, shoes, and toys was usually chaotic. Because my sisters usually spent more time outside, I used those moments of solitude to play with my dolls. Out of the three of us, I was the one who play the most with Barbie dolls, so I inherited by older sister's but also my younger sister's dolls. Playing with my Barbie dolls and my other figurines was a time of being myself and creating different scenarios with them. I never wanted to be bothered and did not want people to see me playing (now I wish there were videos of me playing so I could se them for my research about Barbie play).

Physically my bedroom went through various changes. When the three of us were in the same room, the decoration was not individual. Everything matched, and although we helped our mom pick out colors and bedspreads, it was one design for all of us. After our house expansion, my older sister had her own room, so I shared mine with my younger sister. This time I spent a lot of my time here writing what I considered then to be poetry.  As a teenager in this room, my love for boybands was very evident. My side of the room was full of posters of my favorite band: 98 Degrees, and because I also liked ‘NSYNC, I convided my little sister of putting up some posters of them on her wall. After my brother moved out, my sister moved to his room, so this finally became my own. Despite my age, I decorated it with butterflies and bright colors. A few years later, pictures of my friends became part of the decoration and so did posters of Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz. My current room doesn’t yet feel like “my room.” Because I am unsure if I’ll move to another place or not, for now it feels like a temporary place where I sleep, and I still refer to my room in Puerto Rico as “my room.” However, because it is my own place and my official room as an adult, I went with more adult decoration, not bright colors, and especially, no pink.

It is strange to think that a room can say so much about a person, but it really does. Even looking at pictures of my room at a specific point in my life I can remember what I was going through, what I liked, what was meaningful to me in that moment, and other details about my life. A room is, or at least for me it is, a sacred place, a place where I can gather my thoughts and be myself. 

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