One of my favorite rappers, 2 Chainz, rapped about “bad bitches” in his iconic ‘Birthday Son’. If you need a lyrical refresh, here you go: “It’s your birthday/It’s your birthday/Bad Bitch contest/You in first place!”
With my 30th birthday coming up in just a few short days, if there is one contest I’d love to win, it’s the “bad bitch contest”! Also, you may be thinking, “Why is Ed using the term bitch so freely? What is a bad bitch? And who does that bitch think he is dropping so many Bs in one post?”
To succinctly answer your rhetorical question: as a society, I think we are finally in a place where the term bitch has transitioned from a pejorative to a positive. In fact, I think of the term bitch as a goal. In Stephen King’s absolutely frightening Dolores Claiborne, Judy Parfitt emphatically said it best: “Sometimes you have to be a high riding bitch to survive..” With that in mind, what exactly constitutes a bad bitch?
While some might argue that the intrinsic meaning of a “bad bitch” is subjective, I would argue that there exists a more objective definition, and I would like to objectively deconstruct the meaning of a bad bitch (if I may).
In my opinion, a bad bitch is a woman (or man) with intelligence, confidence, courage, charisma and an air of defiance, who isn’t afraid to be a true individual in a depressingly homogenous world. Bad bitches have most certainly encountered struggle in their lives; however, being the bad bitches that they are, they have overcome those struggles with grace, humor and success.
Now that we have covered the etymological meaning of what constitutes a bad bitch, I would like to raise some bad bitch awareness. The following women (and one man) are bad bitches to the core, but you may have not known about their bad-bitchery, because they have somehow kept a low profile about their bad bitch status.
Without further ado, here are 5 secret bad bitches:
1. Bea Arthur
It’s no secret that Bea Arthur was a quintessential bad bitch as wise-cracking Dorothy Zbornak on The Golden Girls, but did you guys know that she served time in the US Marines as a “typist and truck driver”? Furthermore, Bernice Frankel (her real name) was discharged from the marines after contracting a venereal disease, which led her to eventually pursue a career in show business. Now, there’s a somewhat linear example of taking life’s lemons and making fabulous lemon drops out of them.
2. Fran Drescher
In addition to being a brilliant, beautiful, successful comedian and actress, did you guys know that Fran Drescher is a survivor of both cancer and a brutal sexual assault that occurred in the early ’90s? Although she’s a self-touted “simple girl from Flushing” (Queens, that is), Fran Drescher didn’t let her personal tragedies define her, and she shone bright like a diamond (and still does a lot thanks to syndication and TV Land). As if I needed to drum this in any further, did you guys know that Fran also had a brief but iconic appearance in the monstrously successful Saturday Night Fever? A secret bad bitch indeed.
3. Charlize Theron
This is a still of Charlize Theron from Young Adult, one of my favorite movies. Apart from being monstrously talented (that’s a cheesy wink to Monster, in case you didn’t actively appreciate that cheddar), Charlize overcame an abusive past. When she was just 15, her mother killed her father in self-defense (he was attempting to kill Charlize). It’s not something Charlize easily or publicly discusses since it involved her mother, but it adds a layer of complexity and bad bitchery to the South African beauty, who has always portrayed strong, complicated women with complex agendas.
4. Iggy Azalea
Iggy Azalea is my new favorite rapper. When I first heard the song “Murda Bizness”, I didn’t realize that the soulful, sassy, trill-ful voice rapping was that of a beautiful 22-year-old Australian girl from Mullumbimby, New South Wales (until I saw the amazing video). Iggy is quoted as saying that her rapping style was inspired by Lisa Left Eye Lopez (RIP), which is undeniably cool and iconic in and of itself. Dropping out of high school, Iggy cleaned houses and hotels with her mother so she could save up enough money to visit America. After visiting Miami, Iggy decided that America was her true home, and she decided not to return back to Australia with her mother, instead staying behind to pursue her dreams. In her song “Work”, Iggy references this: “No money, no family, 16 in the middle of Miami.” If that’s not a bad bitch right there, please revoke my future membership to the private, members-only bad bitch club.
5. Anderson Cooper
Besides being my secret (dream) husband, Anderson Hays Cooper is also a secret bad bitch. There are so many interesting things about Anderson Cooper that I really don’t even know where to begin, so I’ll just list off a few of the more noteworthy (hypothetically less known) facts about the man (from his Wikipedia obviously):
1. His mom is Gloria Vanderbilt, aka American Royalty. When he was 21 years old, his brother Carter committed suicide, prompting him to really reflect on his life and push him towards a career in journalism.
2. He graduated from Yale, and when he didn’t get anywhere at his first (entry level) journalism job, he took matters into his own hands and created a fake press pass. Traveling to Burma, AC interviewed students fighting the Burmese government.
3. Having recently come out, Anderson said that “being gay is a blessing”, and it don’t get much badder than that!