In praise of... · Opinion

Bad girls are my weakness

yellow pencil skirt

All you need for a movie is a gun and a a girl – Jean Luc Godard

I have a deep and abiding love of pulp fiction art (hence the avatar). Temptresses. Sirens. Femmes Fatale. I can’t resist the allure of the bad girl. It’s why I love Noir cinema, and blaxploitation. Ace female characters that fight back. It’s why I’m writing crime: there is so much scope to explore social dynamics and themes of good and evil.

There’s so much pressure for girls and women to be nice. But it doesn’t take long to figure out that it’s a rigged game. Any girl that makes it much past 14 without realising that she is damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t is one lucky girl. I got called a slut by a teacher at school when I was 11. My crime? I was sitting on a chair outside the sewing room with my knees about fist width apart. Aged 14 an adult friend of my parents stuck his tongue in my mouth when he kissed me on New Year’s Eve, then mocked me for inexperience when I was shocked.

Mostly the bad girls of pulp fiction and noir are not really bad. They’ve just refused to accept the rigid rules of “acceptable” female behaviour and, in fiction as well as in life, this has terrible consequences for them. The thing is, we all know being a ‘good’ girl is really no protection. So we might as well live our lives by our own rules, thumb our nose at convention, say a big Fuck You to anyone who objects. The bad girls of pulp fiction are magnificent in their defiance.  We should all embrace our inner bad girl.

The tacky t-shirts say “Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere.” That’s true too: being a bad girl is so much more interesting than being a good girl. Who wants to be Sandy when you can be Rizzo? Or even Marty?

Check out my Pulp Fiction board on Pinterest and be inspired.

 

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