I Am Thirteen, Going on Seventeen

August 15th, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

I started high school at the tail end of my twelfth year, which wasn’t so strange for me considering I was a fookin’ genius from birth started school early and was always two years young for my grade. By age thirteen, I had clocked in a season of high school cheerleading, seven broken heart episodes, and enough time as VP of my class to think that I ran the whole goddamn place. I swooped ahead to take AP Biology and chemistry at the same time, and started tutoring kids older than me in regular biology, or what I had started referring to as “elementary-level science for the masses.” I ruled. At thirteen years of age, I totally fucking ruled. Thirteen? I felt twenty-three.

Still, it wasn’t enough to just rule. The varsity football team found out how young I was on my first day in the halls, after which, none of them would touch me with a grabby-hand or a ten foot pole (unless, I suppose, they wanted to spend their senior year in jail). There was no faking my age, not with a seat in AP Bio, not with a fake ID, not with a stuffed bra, not with a very well-crafted lie. And thus, for me, there would be no feel-ups by BMOCs, no freshman year glory screws, just me, my AP Bio book, and my ego to keep me company.

It’s no wonder that I have paid special attention the controversy surrounding the champion Chinese gymnasts, many of whom have been scrutinized by every media outlet in the world (besides the Chinese) for lying about their ages.

Sure, they look young, but don’t We all?

Sure, sure, it’s important that, if the girls in question really are thirteen or fourteen rather than sixteen (as their legal passports state), there’s a whole institutionalized cheating thing being perpetuated by Chinese authorities and we’ve got a real fucking problem on our hands.

But let’s not bury the headline. There is, essentially written proof that at least one Chinese gymnast, He Kexin, was reported last year by Chinese press as aged thirteen, and now that story is being repudiated as inaccurate. Written proof! And all this chick has to tell reporters is, “My real age is sixteen. I don’t pay any attention to what everyone says,” and everyone nods their heads and the FIG and IOC give their collective thumbs-up, and the team goes on to win its gold medal, blah blah blah. If all of this drama is actually true, it surely boils down to this: Kexin and Co. have got some damn good people working with ‘em.



Paldies, Mari!

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