Exerpt of 'The BAP Handbook'

Betty is usually so busy "bettering" herself that she rarely takes the time to listen to her inner voice telling her to slow down … think … do what she wants. Finding a balance between doing the "right" thing and enjoying herself is something Betty learns to master as she matures. Growing up, going to college, her first job, or, for some, marriage gives Betty the opportunity to shine on her own without the aid of her loving parents. As their influence wanes, she begins to trust her inner voice. Perfection, while still important, takes a backseat to happiness.

Vanity is her vice, Tiffany & Co. is her friend. Perfection, punctuated with hard work and determination, afford her this end!


Boho: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, who is the most free-spirited BAP of all?

Mirror: You are dear with your lifestyle choice, you always listen to your inner voice!

Boho: Diminutive of bohemian, (a.) A BAP by birthright who lives an unorthodox lifestyle. (b.) A funky-fresh sister with a decidedly unique if not outrageous approach to life. (c.) A majorette in her one-woman band.

Boho marches to the funky beat of a different drummer. Upon first glance, one may be tempted to call Boho "granola" or "artsy-fartsy." And she is. But that's only half the story. Her mellow demeanor, eclectic tastes in clothing and hair, and bohemian lifestyle are just as much a testament to her BAPpiness as her parents' bank account! So, despite the exterior, what's the difference between Boho and Betty? Although Boho enjoys all the rights and benefits that accrue to platinum card-carrying BAPs, she remains untethered by the earthly demands of her sister, Betty.

But how can Boho claim BAPhood when she refuses to toe the party line? It's easy. She's a free spirit whose notion of perfection comes from within. Boho is determined to find what truly makes her happy, and not what her family or friends expect. This often compels her to defy authority. "A rule?" she asks, "What's that?" Following directions has been problematic for her from day one.

In the Boho war for independence, childhood is the first battleground where parent and child face off. It starts with a small skirmish. Say the baby Boho refuses to wear a new Oililly dress without a pair of shorts underneath. She and her mother will duke it out before her mother concedes (one for Boho, zero for the BAParent). From there, the battles escalate to where she wants to go to camp or college. When it comes down to it, the battles center around Boho's freedom of expression. Her prowess on the battlefield shows Boho that the world does not come to a screeching halt when she fails to follow her parents' rules. So, breaking one rule leads to breaking another and another and another. And, before you know it, Boho is the victor!

Hair is another avenue of self-expression for the Boho. While thoroughly trained in the ways of BAP hair as a child, as a young adult Boho openly rebels against the Hare Krishna-like hair indoctrination of her youth. She now renounces the insidious invasion of chemicals in her hair. Instead, she prefers to let it reign in all its natural glory whether it be "free" or in braids, twists, or locks. These hairstyles are problematic for BAP mothers, who feel their daughters are rejecting their mantra: "Your hair is your crown and glory." Boho merely feels that her crown should express her roots!

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