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what was your boyhood like?

To coincide with the launch of The Girls + Boys Issue, Pre-Fall 14, we are dedicating this week entirely to the boys. Here we ask some of our favourite designers, models, photographers, stylists, writers and artists what their boyhood was like, because whether it was the best, worst, wildest, or most confusing time of your life, whether you want to forget them or re-live them, your childhood and teen years shape who you are today.

"My boyhood was full of creativity and possibility, I lived on a farm physically and in a dreamland mentally. I felt that the world was so wondrous as it was continually unfolding for me. I remember thinking that my possibilities were endless and at one point deciding that I could start to contact my best friend with just the power of thought! Maybe not so much has changed for me since then!" Jeremy Scott

“Boyhood was a miserable time for me. From day one at school I was bullied for being gay. I could not comply to expectations that were placed upon me as a boy. I could not relate at all to other boys my age, as I disliked things they were into like Sci-Fi movies and horrible boy toys. I had no interest in boyhood and boy clothes I was given to as a child.” Edward Meadham 

“Boy hood was… an endurance let's say. I wrangled my way through it unharmed - but it wasn't easy. I had friends as a means of protecting myself - I didn't really like them but I knew it would get me through school. I was a fairly lonely child, I was fairly obedient to my parents, I didn't really speak to anyone and kept to myself. I was fairly sheltered but I hated every moment of school/socialising and just wanted to get out of my surrounding. I left home when I was 15, moved to another country and started over.” Benjamin Kirchhoff 

"My boyhood was pretty idyllic. I grew up in a mediaeval walled town beside a river and on the coast. I had masses of friends and a loving family. It felt a very safe but exciting environment. We played outside all the time, unsupervised by elders, and got up to lots of dangerous mischief but no real harm came to any of us. Later on I went to an all boys boarding school and had a really great time there too. A lot of laughter, and bit of sexiness too." Simon Foxton

"I was classless, too black for the white kids and too white for the black kids. I created my own world without boundaries, which I inhabit to this day. Sometimes the most simple pure childhood feelings can last a lifetime." Joe Casely-Hayford

"In my very early teens I was incredibly shy and quiet but was trapped in a 6ft 3 body. My physical appearance projected one thing but in my head I felt totally different. I knew myself from a very young age, but it wasn't really until I got to St. Martins and through my experiences outside of the classroom that I was really able to express that to the rest of the world." Charlie Casely-Hayford

“The naïve, innocent days, believing the power of LOVE can solve everything! No football or sports, nothing insanely competitive. BFFs with Sailor Moon and Sylvanian Families.” Ryan Lo

“I think I was quite bored and Lonely. Where I grew up there was not a lot for me to do and it was quite difficult to connect with people. I was always relating to fictional characters in movies I watched more than the real people around me, it was a bit bizarre but I didn't over think it. I was into art and not many people got it or took the time to get it, but I had a very loving family who let me use my creativity to explore my own personal boundaries. Things like drawing and sewing were all really good releases for me, that and Christina's Stripped album, that came out at the right time for me (when you’re still stuck at home and you think the world is out to get you). Scarborough is a nice place but it wasn't for me. I wanted more (a bit like Ariel), so I just did my thing until I was able relocate myself.” Bobby Abley

“When I was a boy, my family owned a Citroen 2CV or deux chevaux as they were called.  I remember it was red and white and had a striped hatchback sunroof. We had many happy times on family road trips playing 'sign cricket’ en route - a silly pub name game. It was really lame but simple things pleased me and I fucking loved it!” Kit Neale

"To be honest, I don't think a lot of people I still know from my childhood think I've actually grown up all. I had the most incredible time being a young boy, always one step behind my older brother and one step ahead of the law. If I could break into it, I did. If I could smash it, it got smashed. If it burned, it burned to the ground. Some people would call it mis-spent youth, whereas I know it was well-spent youth." Matthew Miller

"Skateboarding, roller skating, riding my BMX bike, cars and music - these were my boyhood obsessions. I spent all my money buying records - seven inch singles mostly, from the local branch of Woolworths -  and had posters of Debbie Harry and Siouxsie Sioux on my bedroom wall. I hung around with a gang who were a bit older than me, and we had a den in an old World War 2 air raid shelter. I smoked my first cigarette in there when I was 10 years old and didn't like it, but pretended I did. At school the only subjects at which I excelled were Art and English. My school reports always said the same thing - that I didn't concentrate, distracted others and never stopped talking." James Anderson

"I grew up in a commune-like environment. There were always people coming in and out, lots of creative minds, the house was always full. It was surrounded by nature so I spent a lot of time in the forest. It was a very open minded upbringing and a good introduction to the next step: adulthood." Paul Boche

“Boyhood was good. I was a pretty bad kid in school. I left home/school at 16 and have been making my way ever since. Got arrested, took drugs, toured in a punk band all across Europe, had no money, partied hard all the time. It took its toll but I wouldn't have changed a fucking thing. I Lived in London, LA and now in NYC tattooing and modeling with good friends and family all over the world. I’m forever in debt to my parents - love them. To sum up, I think you know you've lived a good boyhood when you're happy to be the age you are and not want to be any younger because you couldn't have done it better if you tried." Miles Langford

“I was a big day dreamer and struggled to fit into “normal” life. A lot had to do with the loss of my father and me learning slowly about my sexual orientation. I was not very interested in school or sports and all I wanted to do was dream about secret worlds and hidden places.” Daniel Sannwald 

"I guess I spent most of my childhood learning lessons the hard way haha. I was a little fucker, trying to get into as much trouble as I possibly could. I never wanted to grow up. I didn’t ever think about my future when I was younger, all I cared about was ‘today’ and never about ‘tomorrow’, much like every other kid." Ash Stymest

“My childhood fascinates me to this day. In so many ways I still feel like kid, sometimes I find it incomprehensible that I'm approaching my mid 30s! So many of my references stem directly from the cartoons, toys and comics from back then, they are hard wired into my psyche and almost impossible to avoid. It's hard to think of a word that describes how much I hated school, I found it impossible to relate to almost anyone there and longed for the end of the day when I could retreat back to my spot in front of the TV. Television was my escape from the soul crushing mundanity of my sleepy seaside town, (Bournemouth is actually very nice, I had a fondness for the dramatic back then). Although I struggled with my studies I had an almost photographic memory for pop culture and could recite music videos, episodes of the Simpsons and countless adverts at will. Sci-fi, cartoons and comics were also my great passion, I would spend hours designing superheroes and the gigantic monster villains that would destroy them. My great ambition was to be a toy designer. In a lot of ways that's what I became, only now the toys are a great deal bigger.” Gary Card

"When I was 13 I moved away from my family to live with my cousin in a tiny place in rural Suffolk [England] and found myself getting lost in the illegal party and squatter scene at a very young age. At this critical age, being a total outsider hanging around a lot of people who were much older and generally more hardened than me put me into a position where I stuck out like a sore thumb being by far the youngest person in the group, and the only American exposed to this world, and I was constantly pushed down and taken advantage of. It pushed me into learning very quickly to become a chameleon, able to adapt to any situation no matter how foreign to me. The most important thing to consider in this kind of lifestyle is to keep something near to you that will always ground you and let you remember yourself & the things that really matter. For me, the most accessible and relative thing was music. Every piece of music I've ever cared about helps to tell the story of a different passage of my life, and I think that is why I can really appreciate any type of music, no matter what judgement or feelings I hold in its esteem. For this reason, music is the most important thing in my life, my clutch, and in realizing this, I've realized that it's the only thing that I would be happy dedicating my life to creating for others who need something like I did in their own situations. Hopefully some day I can give that to them." Gryphon O'Shea

“B​oyhood for me was those few years trying to work everything out. Understanding who you are and what you want." Liam Hodges

"My childhood was spent painting in my room, jumping on the trampoline in the garden, dressing up my dolls, playing Pokemon and a LOT of fighting with my brother. He is the oldest so he could hit the hardest and then I would scream the loudest and would always be the one getting in trouble." Sylvester Henriksen

“Confusing, traumatising and a bit sticky. But none the less, wouldn't have changed a thing.” Marc Sebastian Faiella 

“Pretty girly.” Thomas Tait 

"Boyhood for me was; getting drunk in parks on Lambrini and K Cider, sneaking into overage horror films and finding places we weren't suppose to go to hang out in. Nothing was ever boring - probably the funniest years of my life basically." Ben Jarvis 

"Boyhood was football. Football was boyhood. If I wasn't playing I would be swapping stickers or after a shiny one waiting until break/lunch/hometime to get back on the field or street. I'm still in boyhood though." Matthew Bell 

"It was a care free time where I was active 24/7, played lots, was a little naughty, climbed shit, fell a few times and didn't learn my lesson (with a running 90’s hip hop soundtrack)." Jordan Matheson

"Boyhood consisted of constantly trying to prove myself to the other guys around myself. Knowing that I was different from them I still wanted to blend in. When it was summertime my parents use to go to work and I wasn't allowed out of the house, not unless some sort of adult supervision was there. I use to take my uncool bike and ride extremely far with the other boys, with the anxiety of getting caught by my parents. Boyhood was finding myself out because while all the other boys wanted to play with G.I. Joes I wanted to play with a science experiment. When other boys were listening to the new DMX track, I was obsessed with Bjork. This was when I was around 11 years old of course." Shaun Ross