But first: thank you so much, everyone who voted for me in the NAFF election. I TOTALLY WON, so I’m off to Brisbane in March! I AM QUITE EXCITED AND ALREADY PLANNING, ie, trying to work out if the Contact venue is convenient for MOS Burger.
Now, Floppy Haired Boys.
As people who were teenage girls in the ’90s, Stephanie and I have a weakness for this Non-Threatening Boy subgenus. It’s just something about the way their fringe falls into their eyes, you know? I have fond memories of the day the darkest, angriest goth girl in my year group confessed that she, too, loved nothing more than a gormless white boy who hadn’t been to the hairdresser in a while.
How can I explain the Floppy-Haired-Boy? He is to early-teen girls what the Manic Pixie Dream Girl is to twenty-something hipster boys, only with less toxic overflow into real life, because girls are taught to understand that their fantasies have nothing to do with reality.
The Floppy-Haired-Boy will take you roller skating, and even though you know you’re terrible, you’ll find yourself giving it a go, because you know he’ll catch you when you fall. He’ll take your hand, but let you initiate the first kiss. He’ll laugh at your jokes and encourage you to try new things, yet won’t pressure you into, you know, anything you’re not ready for.
Much as it’s popular to make fun of Non Threatening Boys — and I did, even when that was totally what I was into — that boy is the perfect fantasy boyfriend for the girl who is still learning about boundaries.
(He also provided safe cover for the girl who was perhaps wondering why she wasn’t really into boys, but who wasn’t ready to think of herself as anything other than heterosexual. Stick a picture of pre-Titanic Leonardo di Caprio in your school diary, draw a couple of hearts around it, no one will ever know.)
The twenty-first century has produced some okay floppy-haired-boys, but to be honest, Bieber, pre-downfall, and One Direction haven’t really done it for me. (TVXQ, on the other hand… but I try to stay away from boybands whose fandoms have literally attempted murder.)
My current hobby — please, brace yourself for high level nerdity — is creating English subtitles for the German Hanni & Nanni movies, (loosely) based on Enid Blyton’s St Clare’s books. This is a terrible hobby, given that Duolingo says I currently have 1% fluency in German. But the movies are pretty great, provided you don’t want anything remotely like a faithful adaptation.
(If that’s what you’re after, may I recommend Mischievous Twins at St Clare’s, the Japanese anime? There are a LOT of European language dubs out there, many with dodgy English subtitles.)
Now, one of the ways in which the German films diverge from the books — aside from the contemporary German setting, Miss Theobald’s penchant for tarot cards and Nanni’s loathing for sport — is that the second movie features Mam’zelle’s nephew, Philippe, a floppy-haired-boy of the highest order.
Here he’s pictured practicing fencing on the lawn, unaware that there’s a whole tree of girls staring at him.
He’s also brooding, for reasons I haven’t yet discovered, but are probably related to the fact that he’s living at a girls school, while being terrified of girls.
Into it, from right to left: Lilly (aka the twins’ cousin Alison in the original books), Daniela (who I’m pretty sure is Angela Favorleigh) and Nanni.
Not into it and probably wishing she was playing hockey because she’s a TomboyTM: Hanni.
Look, I’m just saying.
Anyway, purely for reasons of Science and Sociology and that kind of detached and unemotional thing, I approve of the franchise catering to their tween audience in this way. Well done, those Germans. It almost makes up for their weird refusal to include English subtitles on their DVDs.