Not Bad, But Not Bad Bitch
This story only appears in English.
By Onyx Ramírez
I feel like somewhere along the way, everybody else learned how to be a bad bitch, effortlessly. You people look good all the time. I must’ve missed the seminar or was in the bathroom when this was covered in school. The professor would stand in front of the class and say: “Welcome to Making a Bad Bitch. Today we’re going to cover how to beat your face.” I go on Instagram and Facebook and I’m surrounded by peers that are bad bitches. Sometimes, I even see former students of mine, who were deadass small children what feels like weeks ago, and now they’re bad bitches, and I’m astounded.
When did they, how did they, where did they? Somehow, everyone found out about FASHIONNOVA whilst I thought we were all still doing Forever21. This isn’t a “she wears short skirts, I wear t-shirts” situation. I wear short skirts too, I’m just obviously a basic bitch about it.
Truthfully, I’ve always been kind of a mess. When I was a child, my mom would put so much effort into making me look good for school and it was all for naught. I went to one of those public schools with uniforms, which was perfect for me because I don’t think I could’ve handled the responsibility of coordinating colors and textiles. Every night, my mom would prep my look for the next day. She’d carefully iron my navy blue skirt, a knee length masterpiece, the pleats folded just so. A sky blue button down that I’d tuck into the waist of my skirt, with white stockings that glistened, and patent leather black mary janes with bows on them. You may be saying to yourself, “Onyx, it’s just a uniform, they’re just that, uniform” but really, you’re wrong. Uniforms are anything but. There are different kinds of uniforms, even at the same store there are different kinds of uniforms. There’s the ones that kids whose lives are a series of unfortunate fashion events wear; shirts with the thick fabric, or the cookie cutter edged collars, or the skirts that are even just one inch too long. Those kids can’t pick up on the subtleties of the uniform, the ones you just know when you see. Then, there are the uniforms that look right and fit right -- hems end where they’re supposed to, sleeves with no puff, socks with no ridges. I’ve always strived to make sure I, at least, had the “right” uniform on. A wrong uniform could set you back 2-3 social class levels at my elementary school and in life.
The next piece, the one I could never get, was the “put together,” “clean” and “inspired” look. Every day, I would get on the school bus in the morning looking decent. A Children’s Place ad would’ve dropped me in there for a hot second. Unfortunately, by the end of the day, I’d be a hot ass mess. Stockings? Ripped. Mary Janes? Scuffed. Skirt? Stained. Shirt? Wrinkled AND untucked. Like, what the fuck, kid? I feel so bad for my mom. She put so much effort into these little hairstyles and looks, all she ever wanted for me was to look halfway decent. Always a good thing to boost your self esteem is the classic “mija tu si eres descuidá,” and yes mami, lo soy. You may be asking yourself, “how can you look bad at an elementary school level with a uniform on?” Well, it’s easy, just don’t give an active fuck about how you’re presenting yourself on a daily basis. To this day, my partner will look at my little fits sometimes and he’ll say, almost pitying me, “baby, that’s wrinkled” and I pity him right back because he’s dating the wrinkles and then I laugh heartily and continue with my day. I’d never say I look bad because I don’t. I just look, neutral. Not bad, not bad bitch.
As a kid, I wanted to be carefree and live my life. I’d run around the playground and chase my friends and fall and scuff my knees on the hot concrete in the schoolyard. I’d eat haphazardly, letting my careless enjoyment of the moment and whatever conversation I was having at the lunchroom table distract me from the juice freely spilling onto my blouse. It wasn’t that I didn’t care what I looked like, I honestly did, and do. I’d feel bad when I fell on the floor and my stockings would rip, blood soaking through the gaping hole I’d created in them. I’d go home with my head low because I’d started the day feeling good about myself. Every morning I’d say, “this is the day I come home intact. Proud.” It wasn’t. I didn’t have any intention, and I still don’t.
These days it’s less that I’m ripping my stockings on the playground, bleeding all over the place, and more that I haven’t ironed anything in over a year and I wear the same rotation of clothes consistently. Now, and I can’t stress this part enough, I see women on the street that look put together and I think to myself: “wow, that’s something special,” and then I walk into H&M and buy 5 plain black t-shirts because I don’t know how you people do it. Can you teach me?
All I ever wanted was to be a delicate person with delicate things. I wanted to be a put together girl but I never learned how. I’ve always been wondering, living my whole life this way, where is everyone else learning how to be a bad bitch? This is why I almost exclusively wear basics. Generally, you can throw a white shirt on, some jeans, and booties and look decent. I get my eyebrows done once every couple of weeks, that helps. I’m still able to decipher what is a “bad uniform,” which these days can be translated into a “bad fit.” But do I have personal style? No, not really.
I know I like pink and black and white and gray. I know I’m pear shaped. I know I think Rachel from Friends dresses really well but I also think SZA dresses really well. Confused and overwhelmed by all the women I think dress really well, I just throw on a t-shirt, some jeans and call it a day.
Certainly, there are things that I’m thankful for - the natural hair movement, the GAP, and hoop earrings all come to mind - but somehow, it doesn’t all translate for me. On days I’m feeling motivated, optimistic, or there’s some event coming up where people are gonna stunt on me, I find myself scrolling through websites thinking “this is the day I find the perfect fit. I’m gonna be a bad bitch.” By the 20th or 30th minute of searching, my dearth of patience dwindling by the second, I decide that becoming a bad bitch might best be left for another day.