50 Cultural Icons on What They Were Like as Teenagers

It’s hard out there for a teenager. It’s even kind of hard out there for those of us who used to be teenagers — especially in these back-to-school months, when the nostalgia comes creeping up like those floods we used to wear and never, ever should again. But you know who was probably even stranger than you in high school? Your favorite cultural icon. Or maybe not — as is only to be expected, some had joyful (and/or prank-filled) teenage years, some suffered tragedies, some were completely weird, some were popular, and some deserve our respect for even getting through. After the jump, 50 cultural icons expound on their teenage selves — read on, you’ll fit right in.

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Morrissey

“My greatest aspiration [as a young person] was to make it through the coming week. As a teenager I found life to be inevitably disgusting, and I could see no humanity in the human race. When my time in music began, I found all my goals were reachable. For the first time ever in my life, I spoke and people listened. I had never known such a thing previously. My life as a teenager was so relentlessly foul that I still can’t believe I actually survived it. Perhaps I didn’t…” [As told to Amy Rose at Rookie]