How to Be a Bad Girl

Three Methods:Getting the Right LookEmbracing the Bad Girl AttitudeBeing Adventurous

If you want to be a bad girl, then you've got to rock the look and the attitude. It's all about having fun, living an exciting life, and being confident enough to attract any guys or female friends. “I never said I was a good girl,” Marilyn Monroe said, and it made her an icon. Being a bad girl is an art.

Method 1
Getting the Right Look

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    Pick the right shoes. Bad girls pay attention to their entire look, and they don’t neglect shoes. They make a statement with them.
    • Stilettos are a bad girl’s key accessory, at least at night.
    • Jordans work
    • Clogs or flip flops are nos. Bad girls aren’t that casual. And they’re never frumpy.
    • Above all, bad girls wear sexy shoes. [1]
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    Wear makeup for effect. Bad girls don’t leave the house without mascara. At night, especially, they aren’t afraid to go bold. They love to play with makeup. They do it strategically. They use it to make a creative statement.
    • It’s all about the eyebrows. Get them shaped. Make sure they are expressive. They should be bold. [2]
    • Bad girls use eyeliner to show drama and strength. The French actress Brigitte Bardot used eyeliner in her movies as a statement. When it comes to eyeliner, “the blacker the better.” Try a cat eye. [3][4]
    • Red lips make a statement. So do smoky eyes. Be careful with the glitter. Anything childish isn’t going to cut it. [5]
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    Wear sunglasses. Sunglasses create an aura of mystery and, above all, bad girls have an aura. They leave you wanting more. They leave you wondering.
    • Don’t wear sunglasses indoors or at night, though. There’s a fine line between cool and obnoxious.
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    Don’t be high maintenance. Bad girls don’t take five hours to get ready. They’re too confident to fixate on their appearance excessively, although they take care of it.
    • A bad girl doesn’t have to be dressed to the nines at all times, but she never looks sloppy. One absolute no: Wearing sweatpants outside your own house. [6]
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    Wear black and wear leather – but don’t wear it all the time. [7] Everyone looks good in black. And black is just cool. But bad girls know how to carry off color too.
    • Bad girls don’t wear pastels. So put away the pink and lilac. Those are for little girls.
    • Bad girls don’t wear bows. And they don’t do ruffles. You won’t find them in a prairie skirt.
    • Try monochrome. When Beyonce’s sister Solange Knowles wore head-to-toe red, she won raves. [8]
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    Get a tattoo. It should be a small one, though, with meaning (and just one). And it shouldn’t be something you can’t cover up for the office. When Selena Gomez was trying to change her good girl image, she got a small tattoo on the back of her neck of a Roman numeral. That’s perfect.
    • Your tattoo should have a back story. And you should understand what it means.
    • Avoid a “tramp stamp.”
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    Don’t follow trends. Make them. Madonna is an example of a bad girl who did things her own way. Whether it’s her cone bra or challenging society's rules, Madonna broke convention. Find a trademark. That means something uniquely yours. [9]Bad girls find their own look, and they stick with it, whether they go vamp or goth.
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    Be comfortable with sex appeal. Bad girls know their power over others. When they walk into a room, people look. Cleopatra is one of the most famous bad girls in history because she wasn’t afraid of using sex appeal to seduce. [10]

Method 2
Embracing the Bad Girl Attitude

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    Show confidence. Girls who don’t show confidence are taken advantage of. It’s impossible to be passive and be a bad girl. People are attracted to confidence. Bad girls are not afraid to say what they want. They know what they want, and they go for it. [11]
    • Bad girls never ask for compliments. They expect them. [12]
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    Avoid showing desperation. Never beg or call too many times. That doesn’t mean you should be rude. Show manners. If someone texts you, text back. It means you don't always text first, though. [13]
    • Wait a day before calling back when starting out.
    • Understand when people need space.
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    Leave a little mystery. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis didn’t talk about her secrets. Neither should you. Never let them see you sweat. In the words of the Duchess of Windsor, “Never complain. Never explain.” The screen goddess Sophia Loren was known for saying, “Sex appeal is fifty percent what you've got and fifty percent what people think you've got.”[14]
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    Be independent. You have a circle of friends you trust, but you don’t need them with you at all times. You don’t need a partner to make you happy, either. You’re comfortable with yourself, and you know who you are.
    • Don't hesitate to do things on your own, whether it's traveling or exercising.
    • Make your own money.
    • Develop your own interests. Don't become a chameleon.
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    Be fun. At a party, you don’t cling to the wall. You’re the person everyone clusters around because you’re fun. You laugh, but more importantly, you make other people laugh. You’re a conversationalist, and you aren’t afraid to talk to strangers.
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    Don't allow yourself to be mistreated. Bad girls don’t tolerate abuse. They don’t let people call them names. They walk away if they’re not being treated right. Bad girls are strong. They are never, ever doormats.[15]
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    Don’t apologize. Bad girls don’t say they’re sorry. At least not for doing things their way or being themselves. [16]
    • Passive people are always saying they're sorry, and it's usually for being themselves.
    • Apologize over the big things only.
    • Be confident in your own actions.
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    Find your passion. What are you good at? What do you love? Whether it’s art, music, writing, hula hooping, softball, or something else, bad girls have something they love.
    • Tracey Emin was known as the “bad girl of art” in the United Kingdom partly because she was perceived as strong and confident “about her work.”
    • Angelina Jolie’s passion – charitable works – didn’t mar her bad girl image. It just gave her more depth. Some bad girls show a hint of good girl. Passion is always a key part of a bad girl's personality. [17][18]
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    Be a tease. Don’t ever tease someone cruelly. But a little flirting and coyness can be great. As the pop star Katy Perry put it, I'm kind of a good girl - and I'm not. I'm a good girl because I really believe in love, integrity, and respect. I'm a bad girl because I like to tease.”
    • Mae West perfected the art of teasing, especially using the sexy double entendre (words with double meaning). [19][20]
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    Have a career. Bad girls don’t need other people for their money. They make their own successes, and they do it the honest way.
    • Studies have found that men are attracted to girls with interesting jobs.[21]Bad girls tend to have careers that are exciting and allow them to interact with people.
    • They might have a non-traditional career, like police officer, pilot, or firefighter. Bad girls prefer independent professions. The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo had a skill. It was non-traditional, and she wasn’t afraid to use it.
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    Embrace your story. Maybe they were bullied as a kid but that made them tough and empathetic to others. They are survivors. They’ve been through stuff, but you can’t tell. Still, it’s made them more interesting and stronger.
    • The models who grow up awkward and loser-y and just getting made fun of are the ones with the most character,” says model Binx Walton. “They know how to handle it.” [22]
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    Take the lead. Bad girls don’t hang back waiting for other people to make up their minds or decide what to do. They know what they want, and others follow. Sometimes they break the rules, but never in a way that’s harmful. [23]
    • Ask someone to dance. Or go out on the dance floor first.
    • Initiate ideas: Where to go out to eat, a big idea at work. Don't sit back, and wait for others to do it.

Method 3
Being Adventurous

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    Pick the right ride. You might find a bad girl on a motorcycle. She probably drives a sports car. You’ll never see her in a mini-van. Ever.
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    Travel. When you travel, don’t sign up for a tour or stick to well-traveled routes. Be willing to go to exotic locales. Rent a car, and randomly land in little villages. Walk a trail like Reese Witherspoon in Wild.
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    Embrace activities that show courage. Be the girl who is up for anything – within reason. While others are hanging back and looking timid, you’re out there giving it a try.
    • Skydiving isn't for everyone, but if you do it, people will be impressed with your moxie.
    • Rock climbing isn't for wimps.
    • Hang gliding highlights the bad girl's best trait: She loves freedom.
    • Whitewater rafting is a way to show you're adventurous.
    • Dancing shows your free-spirited side and confidence.
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    Enjoy sports. But don’t just pretend to enjoy sports. Actually understand something about the game. Throw out a statistic or two to show you know your stuff.
    • The singer Taylor Swift says she showed her bad girl side by going to an NBA basketball game and having a beer. [24]
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    Drink classy. Bad girls don’t get drunk. They might be seen with a Martini in hand. Or they’ll have a beer with the guys. They drink - but they do it the right way.
    • You won’t see them doing Jell-O shots, losing control, or dancing on bars. [25]
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    Don’t be the princess. Angelina Jolie as Maleficent is a bad girl. Sleeping Beauty is not. Princesses are fragile. Bad girls don’t need saving. They are powerful, and they know it.
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    Eat with gusto - sometimes. No one finds a person fun who picks at a salad for every meal or who sits down and watches other people eat. Bad girls eat with gusto – just not all the time. They’ll dive into a steak. They’re adventurous with food. They’re willing to try new things.
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    Listen to rock-and-roll. Rocker Joan Jett personified what many people think of as a “bad girl.” She even wrote a song about it. "Cause I was born to be bad/I'm not sad/But I'm glad I did it/Born to be bad/I'm not sad/Why don't you all get with it." [26]


  • Don't wear skanky clothes. They will make you have a reputation that you don't want. Putting too much of the “assets on display” just makes you look tacky. [27]
  • Don't flirt too much, sleep around, get into fights, take advantage of people, curse constantly or seduce every man you see. These are all good ways to NOT be a sexy bad girl, but just a BAD girl no one really wants to be around.
  • Don’t smoke or drink too much. No one likes a person who can’t hold their liquor, and bad girls never lose control. If you must smoke, make it the occasional cigar.
  • Talking trash about other people is uncool. Bad girls aren’t mean.
  • Don’t take too many selfies. Bad girls don’t need to prove to people they’ve got it. They just do. They’re not into themselves. Others are into them.
  • Take care of your kids, if you have them. Be there for them, and attend all of their activities. Bad girls are responsible about the right things.

Sources and Citations

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Categories: Personality Traits and Attributes