I was sixteen in 1999 when Baz Luhrmann's Everybody's Free (to Wear Sunscreen) came out. I enjoyed the life advice contained within it - but at that age, that's all it was...advice. I hadn't lived long enough to really appreciate the value of what Mr L was saying.
I'm 32 now, still young(ish) but twice the age I was when I first heard this song. I've often come back to it during the last 16 years and found that the older I've got, the truer those words have become.
"You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded."
Anyway, I somehow stumbled on the song (can you call it a song if he doesn't sing?) again today and as I was listening, I realised that it would make a good blog post - it fits in well with the 'looking after yourself' aspect of my vision for my blog and my life. So I decided to post the lyrics here. Hopefully it will help anyone who hasn't heard it before, or bring back some good memories for those of us who enjoyed it back in the nineties.
If you'd prefer to listen instead of read, here's the original music video which I found on YouTube.
"Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '99:
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it.
The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists - whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.
I will dispense this advice now...
Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth - oh, never mind.
You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded.
But trust me, in twenty years you'll look back at photos of yourself
And recall in a way you can't grasp now, how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.
You are not as fat as you imagine.
Don't worry about the future - or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum.
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind - the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.
Do one thing every day that scares you.
Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.
Don't waste your time on jealousy - sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind.
The race is long, and in the end, it's only with yourself.
Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.
Keep your old love letters; throw away your old bank statements.
Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life - the most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives.
Some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don't.
Get plenty of calcium.
Be kind to your knees - you'll miss them when they're gone.
Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't.
Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the Funky Chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary.
Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much...or berate yourself, either.
Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.
Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can.
Don't be afraid of it, or what other people think of it - it's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.
Even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.
Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.
Do not read beauty magazines; they will only make you feel ugly.
Get to know your parents - you never know when they'll be gone for good.
Be nice to your siblings - they're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.
Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few, you should hold on.
Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle; for as the older you get, the more you'll need the people you knew when you were young.
Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard.
Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.
Accept certain inalienable truths - prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old.
And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.
Respect your elders.
Don't expect anyone else to support you.
Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse...but you never know when either one might run out.
Don't mess too much with your hair, or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.
Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it.
Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.
But trust me on the sunscreen."
Do you remember this song? How old were you in 1999 when it came out? (Come on, I've revealed my age, now it's your turn!)
Is there one song that has affected your life? Leave your answers in the comments!
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