Every girl should know how to look like a motherfucking badass.
This approach, which I have employed in the most uncomfortable of circumstances, as well as during many rush hours driving to and from work and also every time I hear a new rap song, has a surprisingly excellent track record when it comes to (a) deflecting unwanted conversations in the workplace, particularly as they pertain to my juice cleanses, tardy arrivals and other “peculiar” behaviors (b) reducing incidence of unwanted attention in bars and other social settings, NOT THAT IT SHOULD HAVE TO, and (c) increasing confidence and imparting swagger and daring to yours truly (unscientific assessment). In a word, it WORKS.
Here, in no particular order, are my secrets to inapproachability. Not that I give a motherfuck if you read them.
There’s a reason no one’s ever seen Clint Eastwood’s teeth: He’s a motherfucking badass, and he motherfucking scowls every minute of every day. It is imperative to the success of your transformation that you do the same. Why? Because people don’t question people who are scowling.
If you feel that your badassness is being questioned or if you’re just not that practiced a scowler, a quick, easy way to up the volume on this look is to bite down on the insides of your cheeks to set your jaw. This... mouth stance? turns the corners of your mouth down for you while making your face longer up-and-down-ways, and basically will register instantly as disapproval or disdain to anyone who so much as glances at you -- so you can be assured they won’t make that mistake again.
2. Don’t speak.
Badasses communicate by jerking their heads in various directions, or by grunting. That’s it, those are the two options. Choose one and test it out during your next interaction.
3. Wear a tough jacket.
You know what I’m talking about -- the mother of all badass accoutrements, so vital to the essence of the badass I find it insulting to have to spell it out for you. But here goes: Find your motherfucking motorcycle jacket and put that shit on. DO NOT ZIP IT UP. (OK, I didn’t promise these tips would be original, I just promised they would work.)
Note: this jacket does not need to be leather. I have a cropped wool DVF jacket (see above) that seems to produce the desired effect, and a navy blue quilted bomber that will do the trick in a pinch. I think the cut is more important than the material in this regard. But if you are in possession of a (p)leather jacket, now it's time to shine!
4. Leave at least one element of your wardrobe or appearance totally undone.
An optional tip, but one that can provide to those who feel they need it an increased air of danger and recklessness. This attribute, whatever it is -- bare face, ungirdled fat or filthy, jagged fingernails -- is the ace up your sleeve; paradoxically, it lowers your cultivated “IDGAF” quotient while simultaneously raising the prospect in people’s minds that you literally might actually have been raised by wolves and therefore could not give a fuck if you tried.
For me, a perpetual allergy sufferer whose blue-black undereye circles can recall those of a recently embalmed corpse, the best move is not to leave my makeup but my voluminous, and naturally wild hair untouched, flapping menacingly (and, somehow, horizontally) on top of its own tortured mass in a split ended, shredded-wheat triangle formation, as I, stone-faced and cozy in my leather jacket, nonchalantly browse the “Used Books” section. Voila, no one’s upselling ME a biscotti today.
In fact, I advise you take this to another level, perhaps allowing a thick layer of dust to accumulate on the dash of your car, or a thick layer of papers-mixed-with-trash to accumulate on the top of your desk. This approach can be totally liberating for you and intimidating to others in many areas of life.
5. Wear spike heels or engineer boots.
Make a statement with your feet! I have these (cute, but awful-fitting) Cole Haan patent wedges that are great for work, but I don’t wear them when I want to look like a badass, because (a) I can’t walk straight in them, and (b) they have a freaking interlocked peep toe thingy that is the antithesis of toughness. They are my mom’s favorite shoes of mine, and therefore not badass. So, you can wear whatever works or go barefoot -- just don’t wreck the look with demure footwear.
6. Dare people to question you.
In order to test your credibility as a lone wolf type, you’ll need to do something that people would ordinarily comment on, but that is not totally out of character for a badass, in order to gauge your success in becoming a silent, sexy, vaguely threatening figure. Since I am unimaginative, all I can come up with is my aforementioned 9:45 arrivals and tendency to cook a giant sweet potato in the office microwave, then smother it in a tablespoon of Kerrygold butter, approximately four times a day. Both practices normally elicit prying “young professional” or “skinny girl” joke-slash-questions. But when I’m in my badass wear? Not a peep.
7. Be considerate.
You’re a badass, not an asshole. When driving, don’t weave through traffic at random like you’re Jason Bourne. If someone drops something, lean down and pick it up for her. You can even mutter “‘'Scuse me” if you bump into someone at the bar -- but don’t gush.
In a lot of areas of life, this would be terrible advice. But for the budding badass, it’s basically gospel. Badasses are actually pretty Zen -- they know that everything is as it should be right now, and they’re just enjoying the moment with their feet up on the desk (or their headphones blaring, a la Anna Kendrick in "Pitch Perfect," my favorite badass of 2012). It can be healthy, and fun even, to take a short break from worrying about saying and doing the right thing every second, and focus on yourself instead. Think about -- no, fuck that, fully bask in -- the cool shit you’ve done in your life: everything you’ve achieved to date that makes you so motherfucking awesome. Channel THAT you for an hour (or a week). Just try it.
Seriously. Go ahead, make my day.