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Life is a bad girl issue

I first came across "Bad Like Me" by Courtney Love when I was a teenager. I was trying to find the infamous 1991 Vanity Fair article on Love (I was deep in my Courtney-Love-Is-God phase) and I came across her sexual power manifesto published in the Spring/Summer 1996 issue of BUST. Jack pot. I was convinced it was magic.

When I first read this essay, my whole idea about my sexual power changed. Forget all the name-dropping, Grammy stuff Love talks about near the end of the article (she might have been high on pills) and pay attention to the messages a teenager would get from this:

"Most bad girls are not as libidinous as good girls. Sex is intrigue - not looks, it's build-up and mind warping."

"Bad girls are 'femmenities'; we like our dark Nars lipstick and LaPerla panties, but we hate sexism, even if we do fuck your husbands/boyfriends."

"If you are a single girl on the make, I suggest power. You have to work hard to acquire it and no one will help you."

I remember reading this piece over and over. Her language was frank and had a valley-girl-teenager quality to it. It spoke to me right away. I felt like I was being taught by a way cooler, way older sister who knew it all. "Duh, asshole." That spoke to me. Love was so unapologetic when it came to infidelity or assertive flirting and so real about the in between areas of stereotypically good looks, sexuality and power. I loved the dichotomy she created between bad girls and good girls and how, when you really laid it out, the bad ones were the good ones and the good ones were bad. I had always wanted to be bad, felt people thought I was bad, but knew I was really good. I had love to give. I had insecurities, but I knew how to hide them under my big bad girl shell. I was a good girl in bad girls clothing hoping no one would ever find out.

Of course, when I read this now I realize new things about it. I do not want to deny the genius of her feminist statements about power, swallowing and faking orgasms (bad girls never fake), but this essay is also about Love having a platform to tell off certain so-called "good girls" she doesn't like without actually having to tell them all the while asserting her possibly mean actions to said "good girls" as valid. It's kind of genius actually, because she challenges the "girl code". I really like it when people challenge "girl code".

Just read it, and when you do, try to read it from the view of your 18-year-old self. Enjoy.

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  1. De Beerz says:

    You weren’t 18 in 1996, you weren’t even a teenager then

  2. Michelle says:

    This totally made my week.

  3. shia says:

    amen, love.

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