Life Lessons From Bikini Kill: “Rebel Girl”

Don’t get jealous; EMBRACE the people you admire.

Perhaps, it’s the patriarchy telling us that only one girl can have fun at a time, or, maybe,  being threatened by “cool” people is just an impulse of human nature. No matter which way you slice it, this desire to tear people down for the benefit of your own emotional security is neither healthy nor productive.“Rebel Girl,” one of  Bikini Kill‘s most popular songs,  flies in the face of that destructive impulse. On the track, lead singer Kathleen Hanna describes seeing a confident girl who “thinks she’s the queen of the neighborhood”;  Instead of trying undermine this girl’s confidence by nitpicking at her faults, Hanna sings that she wants to be this girl’s best friend. By letting her admiration for this girl bring them together, Hanna allows herself to interact with the object of her admiration. She takes this girl home; she tries on all her clothes. They find sisterhood and unity in their friendship.

Isn’t this what we should always do with the things we love? Bring them into our internal world instead of pushing them away? If someone has a quality we admire, we should want to study them, embrace them, learn from them, and in the process bring out that quality in ourselves.


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