I was deeply offended by the movie Bridesmaids a while back. I had enjoyed both The Hangover and The Hangover 2 (Wild cats! Missing teeth! Tattoos!), and was properly psyched to see this movie, billed as “the female Hangover, with an all bad girl cast!”
As the credits at the end of the flick began to scroll, I threw my popcorn box down in disgust.
“Seriously?” I hissed at my friend, Lili, who was making a lot of noise trying to get the last bit of flavouring from her Slush Puppy ice. “Those were bad girls? They didn’t even get to Vegas! Or get properly wasted! Or take any drugs! Or get into any proper fights! Hell, Snow White behaved more poorly than these chicks. At least she ran away and shacked up with strangers. This? PATHETIC.”
Lili was now chewing her ice angrily.
“All they did was get regularly embarrassed. Is that all we have left these days? Has the prospect of embarrassment become the Sword of Damocles for chicks these days? If so, man... you really have to stop singing in public.”
“What are you trying to say, Ice Bitch?” I shrieked, and the conversation veered into more relationship threatening territory.
But the thought stayed with me. What happened to Bad Girls, like Mae West or Dorothy Parker? I did some research, i.e.: swivelled my chair around at work and asked my colleagues.
“Anyone know any contemporary Bad Girls?” I asked no one in particular. (And they say journalism is dead. Khuh.)
“Angelina Jolie!” suggested one of our interns. “She’s bad ass.”
“She has six kids, a solid human rights track record and a pilot’s license. Seriously? That’s the best we’ve got? Someone who, years ago, shagged chicks and wore a vial of blood to one of her weddings? Not exactly Hunteress Thompson, is she?”
“How about Paris Hilton? Kim Kardashian?” asked another. “Or Lindsay Lohan?"
“Please,” I retorted. “Those are Plastic Girls. That’s not the same thing. Neither are Mean Girls. They’re just... distasteful. Like trainwrecks or Malibu Barbies. Evil, possibly. But not gloriously BAD.”
I also realised that smarts are required to be a real Bad Girl; and then I got really depressed. Because, if you look at the celebrity women we choose to obsess over, it sure ain’t their wry wit that’s getting them column inches.
And this is a serious problem, folks. Clever, funny women? Please start behaving badly. The sisterhood needs you.
Sam Wilson is the Editor-in-Chief of Women24, Parent24 and Food24.
*Follow her on Twitter.
This column first appeared in i magazine, a weekly lifestyle mag that comes out with City Press every Sunday, in Gauteng and KZN.