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MOVIE BAD GIRL OF THE WEEK: ALEXANDRA ELAINE MICHAELS AND HOW THIS COLUMN CAME TO BE

Embrace your inner bad girl with Movie Bad Girl of the Week!

Alexandra Elaine Michaels, columnist, horror/cult movie guru and student of Movie Bad Girls.

Alexandra Elaine Michaels, columnist, horror/cult movie guru and student of Movie Bad Girls.

 

      For the past several weeks I have authored this column about Movie Bad Girls that I love and how we can apply some of their qualities to our lives in a truly positive manner. I hope you have been enjoying, and hopefully using, some of what I’ve written. This week I thought I would do something different and write a column that will let you get to know me better and explain how I got this wonderful opportunity to write for WLBPA.

     Growing up I was raised by my grandparents. They sent me to Catholic school. All the kids I went to school with had parents (who were considerably younger than my grandparents) raising them. Therefore I was a bit out of tune with my classmates. They were into different things than I was and were hip to what was in style. I was not.  I love my grandparents with all my heart and will be eternally grateful for the wonderful childhood and life I was given, however I had the sensibilities of grandparents, not young hip parents. I was usually left out. My grandparents were not friends with my classmates parents as their ages were considerably different so I did not get invited to parties, group outings or even to a classmate’s home very often. I had a terrible fashion sense and I really wasn’t close to any of my classmates. I was the eternal outsider and in some ways it made me very sad. I was bullied and picked on because I was sensitive, shy and to be honest, weak. I was the total geek/nerd child. I was such a nerd that Carrie White would have kicked my ass. It would be in my later school years that I would actually make close friends and until then it should have been a long and lonely road….it wasn’t though. I had an incredible love of movies and my grandparents generously indulged me in them. My father was around quite a bit and he got in on the movie act too.

     Whether they were on television or in a theater I adored them. I could be transported to incredible worlds so different than mine. I would fantasize for hours about being in these different movies living the exciting adventures I saw on screen. I loved them so much and lived on pins and needles waiting for the next one I could see. My taste in movies would forever be changed when my father took me to the movies to see “The Exorcist”. That was the movie that changed my whole outlook on film and since that time I have watched  more horror than any other type of film. Horror movies are my favorite.

     The first movie bad girl I really remember being drawn to was Dorothy Gale in “The Wizard of Oz”. Don’t look at me like that. She threatened to bite Miss Gulch, attempted to run away to save her dog, had to walk home during a tornado, ended up in Oz killing the Wicked Witch of the East upon her arrival, steals her fabulous ruby slippers with the help of Glenda, has to travel through Oz (a young girl alone) knowing the Wicked Witch of the West (WW of the East’s even nastier sister) is gunning for her, frees the Scarecrow from his slavery in the corn field, helps cure the Tin Man’s rust with his oil can, slaps a lion in the face for trying to get Toto, faces the scary Wizard who seems to be an evil floating head, kills the Wicked Witch of the West (who was really bitchy about wanting her sister’s fabulous shoes back) and gets pissed and aggressive at the Wizard when he tells her to go away. WHY? All because after her attempt to run away she realizes all she wants to do is get back home to the family she loves. Dorothy was a rebel and a bad-ass! That was the starting point. I can list off different ladies that impressed my young psyche but we do not have room nor the time here. I will use the articles to discuss these ladies.

     The moment the Movie Bad Girl became something I used in my own life happened in 1976 when a horror film called “Carrie” came out. Finally here was a character I could relate to. Someone with lots of feelings  who was picked on because of her mother, her weird and shy nature, and she was not one of the beautiful people. Like myself she was on the outside looking in. Then through a series of events she ends up at the prom and for a brief moment gets to feel what it is like to live in their world until a nasty prank leaves her covered in pig’s blood. Rather than cry and retreat she lashes out with her telekinesis releasing every bit of fury that had built up over the years and shows them they made a huge mistake messing with her.  I showed up at school a different person with a new attitude. I would not take the abuses anymore. Imagine everyone’s shock when I actually faced a bully at a very young age and said “Go fuck yourself” (I had to use words as I don’t have telekinesis) and went off in a tirade when the normal pick on Alexandra time began. They backed off slowly but surely over the next few years and I am close to most of my former classmates in this day and age. (As we grow and mature time can change these things. We can laugh about it now…it wasn’t funny back then) From that point on, every time I saw a character that impressed me with her self-empowerment became a chance to integrate some of her qualities into my own life.

Sissy Spacek as Carrie White. The movie bad girl that changed my life.

Sissy Spacek as Carrie White. The movie bad girl that changed my life.

In my teen years I became involved as a cast member of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” and this allowed me to shed (once and for all) my shell of shyness and being different. I don’t tend to look back at Alexandra as a child very often. It was a re-birth of sorts as I began to embrace myself and my eccentricities in a place where the people accepted me just as I am. That was a defining event in my life. In my twenties  I worked in a video store that specialized in horror and cult films and my love of cult movies was born opening me up to a whole new breed of Movie Bad Girl.  Now when you meet me as an adult I am a combination of myself (the new and improved Alexandra who broke out of being the “nerd”) and the movie bad girls I have come to love over the years. Nerd girl is dead and buried and I walk with my head held high possessing a sense of style that is my own (which was lacking in my early years) and I am totally confident. To this day I still work these movie bad girl qualities into my own life when I see some trait that gives them self-empowerment. We are always evolving in some way and I hope these details I try to use in a beneficial way make me a better and stronger person. Some Movie Bad Girls are villains in film, some are not. A movie bad girl is not necessarily an evil character or villain. She will, however,  break the rules and have that sense of self-empowerment. They come out of all sorts of films and the characters are all different and unique just like all of us.

My favorite movie bad girl of all time. Glenn Close as Alex Forrest in "Fatal Attraction"

My favorite movie bad girl of all time. Glenn Close as Alex Forrest in “Fatal Attraction”

How this column came to be. Jennette had once remarked to me that I am the guru of horror and cult film and I took that as a high compliment. Then I decided for one month to post a picture every day of a movie bad girl that I love on Facebook. The very first photo I posted was of Daryl Hannah as Elle Driver from the “Kill Bill” films.

Daryl Hannah as Elle Driver

Daryl Hannah as Elle Driver

I continued posting ladies through that month.  Jennette contacted me through a private message on Facebook. She said she loved my Movie Bad Girl feature and asked would I be interested in writing articles about these ladies putting a positive spin on it. The theme of the column would be how people can be like these Movie Bad Girls in a positive and beneficial way in their own lives. She believed that a column like this would be fun, fresh, different and helpful. Jennette must be a bit psychic to ask me this because this is actually what I have been doing in my own life for years. I accepted the offer and can say I am so grateful for this opportunity. I am so privileged to be included with a group of writers that have such dynamic talent. I hope you enjoy my articles and hope you like my insight as I look at these ladies in film from my (unique, perhaps a bit odd and sometimes downright weird) point of view. I hope you are entertained and can use the tips I am sharing. I also hope I am giving you some new movies to watch that you might have missed or never heard of. And by all means, if you have a favorite Movie Bad Girl you would like me write about let me know. Next week I will be back with a new Bad Girl. Have a great week everyone! And remember. Until next time Embrace Your Inner Bad Girl because being bad feels so damn good.

2 comments

  1. So glad to know more about you. This column is fun and thought provoking. I think we all dream if being characters in movies. Thanks for helping us adopt some of those characteristics we love in helpful ways.

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