How to Slowly Transform Yourself into Patti Smith

Performance with the Patti Smith Group, Germany, 1978 via Wikipedia

Performance with the Patti Smith Group, Germany, 1978 via Wikipedia

A handy step-by-step guide for your metamorphosis into one bad bitch idol.

1. Become very comfortable with your nipples. So comfortable, in fact, that that they lose all meaning. You wouldn’t even notice if they disappeared.

2. Become the muse/lover of a talented young artist whose pictures of you will sometimes feature your nipples. This is to remind you of their existence.

3. Start writing poetry.

4. Carry the tragedy of lost girlhood innocence in your eyes. Never smile again.

5. Wrap androgyny around yourself like a cloak of rumpled, woolen menswear.

6. Your poetry should be just exactly what the poetry of a young woman on the cusp of maturity ought to be. That is to say, angry that it ought to be anything at all.

7. Surround yourself with the kinds of men who wear sunglasses indoors. You have about as little use for women as you do for your own femininity.

8. Discover that you are only ever naked or dressed like a chic hobo.

9. Rage, rage against the myths that have made the world thus. Jesus died for somebody’s sins, but not yours.

10. Read lots of Sylvia Plath just to be sure. Anne Sexton too. Chant “Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I’m through” in the mirror every night.

11. Buy a wide-brimmed hat. This is an advanced move—do not attempt until you have mastered steps 1-10.

12. Rock that triangle hair, girl.

13. Find that your fame has alienated many of the men in the punk scene. This is the most punk rock thing of all. Never stop making men angry.

14. The phallic fortitude of mens suiting softens into something more vulnerable when draped over your slight shoulders.

15. Become a member of an art collective or four. Begin calling yourself a poet slash visual artist.

16. Never let anybody tell you how much hair grease is too much hair grease.

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