I started this column in July of 2013, taking my love of off-beat films, movie bad girls and writing to produce a column that would present movie characters that are fun and who we can learn a thing or two from if we pay attention. I thought a good way to start the New Year would be to look back at the ladies of 2013 and some of the lessons they provided. I also hope that I put some movie titles out there that you looked up and hopefully enjoyed.
“Crimes of Passion” (1984)
Joanna Crane, a woman with a dual life. During the day she is a successful fashion designer, at night she becomes her alter-ego, a wise-cracking hooker named China Blue. What did she teach us?
In your work life find something you love to do and do it to the best of your ability. When you leave your day job it is “you” time. Do something that makes you happy where you call the shots. The point is that “you” do something that “you” want to. This will provide you some stress relief from your everyday life. Stress relief is very important for your well-being.
A popular high school student that everyone likes. Over the years she herself has taken part in picking on the nerdy girl Carrie White. Then an incident occurs that will cause Sue to rethink everything and for the first time she will stand on her own two feet and go against popular opinion to do what she knows is right.
How many times do we go along with the popular opinion (even if we know it is wrong) because we fear being ostracized by our friends or peers whether at school, work or in our social circles? It takes guts to stand on your own and it can be a lonely place at times but it shows an incredible integrity on your part to do so. This gives you that empowerment we have talked about because “you” are thinking for “yourself” and that is power. We are all people, not cattle, and should have our own thoughts and standards we set for ourselves. Be an original, not a copy.
“Day of the Woman” aka “I Spit on Your Grave” (1978)
A young writer whose only crime was being alone in the wrong place at the wrong time. She is brutally raped and left for dead. Rather than be the victim, she takes matter into her own hands and makes the men that assaulted her accountable for their actions.
We have a choice. We can be victims or we can be victors. At work no one, and I mean no one, has the right to sexually harass or degrade you simply because you have a pretty face or a nice bottom or because of sexual orientation. Boys, listen up in case you are the one being harassed. You have the right to speak up and make those doing this to you accountable. This goes on at many work places and people take it, usually for fear of losing their job. Who the hell wants to work in an environment like that? You should enjoy going to work and feel safe from harassment. Make sure to follow protocol in this situation and call them out on it. If it is happening to you there is a good chance it is happening to others. You deserve a safe and happy work place.
How many people are date raped and never say a word? Many times it is because people are embarrassed or worried that it may be partially their fault, while others are afraid at what their rapist will do to them if they do speak. None of this is acceptable. It is okay to feel embarrassed but remember that it not your fault if someone forces you. No means no. It is as simple as that. The person committing the crime uses the fear of retaliation as a weapon so you will not speak up. They want to take power “away” from you. It is not enough to be a survivor. You need to speak up and stop them. It can be a frightening thing to do but you can be the victor in this situation.
A vivacious and perky teen, Riff Randell loves life and the Ramones. She has a dream of being a songwriter for the band. The only thing standing in her way is the new high school principal Miss Togar, a strict disciplinarian that looks like she is stuck in 1958 with ideals to match. She finds certain types of music destructive to the very fiber of American society. A war is about to start between administration and student as Riff does everything she can to get to the Ramones concert so she can give her song to them, while battling Miss Togar and her attempts to stop this teen that she feels has turned the entire school on it’s head and turned the entire student body against her.
Just as it was in high school your job is run by an administration. You may look at them like they are crazy when they institute a new rule or policy. You may think that some policies need to be updated to the here and now. You may not like the way things are running and would like to see change. You can create change (and please don’t blow the building up) from the inside. There is something to be said about a unified front when everyone is like minded and you follow protocol. Keep in mind at some jobs you can be labeled a trouble maker and that administration can find a reason to fire you, so choose your battles wisely. I don’t want to see anyone unemployed. If you work in a place that is run like a dictatorship it may be time for a change. I know that this can be easier said than done, however, we are in charge of our lives and happiness, not them.
“A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master”
Alice is like a butterfly. We watch her go on a journey and transform before our very eyes as she quits hiding in the cocoon she has made for herself and re-enters the world being the young woman that she deep down really is. In her case we learned that sometimes the lessons from these Movie Bad Girls is to do the exact opposite of what they do. It is a case of not making the same mistakes someone else may have.
In many ways we are all Alice. We all love to daydream about different things in our life. Do we act on them or like Alice, just let them be fantasies? Usually a daydream is a desire of something we want. Wanting and getting are two different things. It is up to each of us to reach for that dream. It does not guarantee that we will get it but it beats a lifetime of wondering “What if”.
Nomi Malone is a girl in her late teens who comes to Las Vegas with dreams of starring in one of the hotel shows. She is not a very moral nor ethical character and no one should try to emulate this vixen. She is not a role model by any means and is a Movie Bad Girl who is bad. However there are still lessons to be learned.
We cannot blame new people we meet for what someone in our past has done. They are not that person. We have to trust people even if it is a degree at the time. It is okay to have someone earn your trust. We should never deny a person that chance because of someone else’s actions. This applies to all kinds of relationships (i.e. work, social,romantic..) and without relationships the world is a lonely and cold place.
My favorite bad girl on the list, Carrie White. She is pretty, shy and terribly awkward. The kids bully her largely due to her mother’s fanatical religion. Carrie is the girl with the weird mother, the out of date and overly modest wardrobe and is geek supreme (or so they think). Carrie, through a series of events, will end up at the Senior Prom with the most popular boy in school and for a brief moment will be absolutely radiant and not at all the misfit everyone picks on. Then the ultimate humiliation will take place and Carrie will take charge and the laughter will stop once and for all. Carrie is incredibly real and there are so many things we can learn from this girl who is completely misunderstood and abused by her peers. Had she come out of her shell sooner things might have gone differently.
We all have talents. We all have some strength that is uniquely ours. We do however need to learn what these things are and work on them. Practice makes us better and given time we can perfect our talents in a way that no one can touch. You might be an excellent singer, cook, writer or athlete. Some of you may have the gift of some wonderful psychic ability like Carrie herself. The point is there are things that are so special about each and every one of us. It doesn’t matter if you are fat or thin, beautiful or plain, young or old, a fashionista or if you dress like the discount rack in Goodwill. You are, just like Carrie, a unique and beautiful individual. Show the world your talents. Don’t wait for the bucket of blood. You are in complete control of who you are. We are also (which Carrie learns too late) in true control of how people treat us.
Those are a few of the Movie Bad Girls I have written about and what we can learn from these ladies is worth repeating. Now with 2014 here I have an entire new year where you can visit with Movie Bad Girls that you know and love and I am sure I will introduce to some you have never heard of. I hope you enjoy what I have to say in the upcoming year and I hope I help you find some enjoyable movies you may not be aware of. I wish you all a Happy and Safe 2014 and will see you here next week with an All New Bad Girl! Let’s see what tips and lessons the New Year holds.