Is a short story really a short story if it’s a page long? Yes. Utahna Faith’s “All Girl Band,” is a prime example of this. A simple story about what happens when you’ve done something wrong and need to turn yourself in. A story about approval and success. In one page, Faith packed a multitude of symbolism. Surely, more than enough to really leave readers pondering.
All Girl Band: Synopsis
The story is short and simple. No names are given, but the narrator is the story’s antihero, and one of the band members. We say antihero because she portrays herself in an anti-mainstream light. She describes how she walks into her parents’ home, packs a bag, and leaves with the band to go turn themselves in.
She describes how she makes her father nervous, and chalks it up to the fact that she’s pale, black-haired and red-lipped. Her mother, on the other hand, was suntanned and blonde at her age, which illustrates a very sharp contrast.
The narrator’s look is a vampiric one, and she highlights this in the story. She seems proud of it, judging by her contrast to her own mother. It’s as if this mimics the classic “not wanting to be my mother,” syndrome that most women face in their adolescence. What better way to prevent becoming mom, than to be mom’s polar opposite?
Furthermore, the end of the story makes it clear this is the best the band has ever been, and the best they’ve ever looked. Then the questions rises: what better time to turn yourself in?
Clearly, the band takes pride in their looks. Their looks are what set them apart from society, what makes them uniquely beautiful. They care about it because it’s the one thing that seems to make others uncomfortable. And they are willingly not seeking anyone’s approval.
Success is when you finally reach a point in which you’re happy with everything related to lifelong goals. For some, it’s being rich. For others, it’s simply being able to afford bill payments and having a stable relationship. In this case, the all-girl band chalked up success to looking, feeling, and being the part. The music itself isn’t even mentioned, really. Clearly, it’s not about the music for them, it’s about standing out and living the part of a rock star.
Short stories can be all of a page long and still be classified as literature. “All Girl Band,” by Utahna Faith is a great example of this. This particular story is packed with symbolism, despite its length.
A simple story about being young and having fun, it’s one that showcases teenage angst and lack of approval. It takes readers back to a time when standing out was all that mattered. Getting attention meant success. Making your parents uncomfortable meant you were succeeding in being different than your elders.
And after all, that is part of growing up. Faith did readers a favor by shedding light on the past and focusing on the progressive changes that take place in adulthood.