I can thank my Nan for introducing to the joy of Australian soaps. I used to watch The Sullivans with her and loved it. I disliked one of the characters who was to later turn up in Home & Away as Morag (bitch!!). I’m sure the actress is lovely enough in real life, or maybe not, I don’t know her but she’s a great character actress!
So, my very own first Aussie soap that I discovered for myself was Neighbours, everybody needs good ney-bours….la la la and Kylie Minogue, aka Charlene, the ingenue pretty girl who was a machanic! I wanted to be a machanic because Charlene was one. And I wanted to look cute in dungarees and a curly perm. I did’t have dungarees and I had very staight hair. Infact I’d recently cut my hair from being grown out to a brownette version of Sandy in Grease except I was goign through puberty so my straight hair was a little frizzy and I was a chubby 10/11 year old with a pot belly and I didn’t suit a fringe much. My ingenue sweet as candy dreams were a little shattered, but I still day dreamed of being as lovely and adored as Charlene. That was Charlene and that was enough.
Little did I know that Kylie Minogue, the gorgeous young lady behind the character was to be such an inspiration to me, someone I would look to for fashion, for behvaiour, for style, for dancing, for leading me into my yet unrecognised world of ingenues. I didn’t know I was of ingenue character myself. I didn’t know that my preference for Sindy not Barbi, my love of animals, my love of hills and dreams of Victorian times, with long hair, cute freckles, colour, art, high heels, lipstick, handsome boys, rock and roll music, 60s pop, romantic songs, my love of Kermit the Frog and Whitey my all white, black nosed, brown-eyes, and thoroughly lovely-pawed Jack Russell – I didn’t know, couldn’t see that I, yes I, me – was an ingenue myself!
So, Miss Minogue, gorgeous ingenue who also suits a cute gamine hair cut, was like an older sister to me, in a way, and when she was falling for curly haired sexually awakened men (boy, in my case), so was I. Mine wasn’t Micheal Hutchence in any way shape or form but I could pretend he was, a little, sometimes.
I was so excited when for Christmas, aged 11 I got Kylie’s first album on casette to play in a casette recorder. I’d had the same casette player come radio for a few years and I loved it. I could sit and listen to radio stations, French, English, sometimes random distorted announcements that could be caught of Medium wave. I loved it. It was a private freedom for a very shy girl. I had a very very very quiet confidence and knowledge that I wasn’t as stupid, as weird, etc as I tended to think but like very shy children, it takes time to get passed this in some way shape or form, it can happen though, however much you think it won’t.
Kylie stood for kindness, politeness, sweetness, girliness, she was accessible to me in a safe way (I wouldn’t have to be on dislay myself). Side one and side two of a tape gave me access to a pop princess and the loveliness that came with it – pretty face, pretty clothes, pretty songs….Kylie loveliness.
In my later years, my teen years, when love, or just lust came knocking, Better the Devil You Know came into it’s own (short black lycra skirts and 60s hairbands), and What do I have to do….and Shocked and so on. It was wonderful. I went from childhood to teenage sexual awakening in Min’s back catalogue! Fantastic! Wonderful! Ingenue-fabulousness!
And so to some lovely reminders…