I Tried It: Being a Bad Bitch Like Amber Rose

Amber Rose—the brash selfie star who thirst-trapped her way to 7.5 million Instagram followers—has a new memoir-slash-life-manual called How to Be a Bad Bitch. Our prim senior editor, Rachel Heinrichs, takes a page from Rose’s book

Amber Rose 2015 VMAs

Rose making a statement at the 2015 MTV VMAs (Photo: Rex USA)

I am the anti-Amber Rose. I’ve never posted a selfie. I’m squirmingly uncomfortable with attention. I apologize to furniture after stubbing my toe on it. Rose, in contrast, is all “At the end of the day, if you want to f-ck a guy, do it” and “Okay, bitch, round two.” So I felt intense dread when my editor asked me to follow Rose’s advice, as outlined in 224 pages of lessons learned as she skyrocketed from a poor Philly kid to an exotic dancer to Kanye’s ex-girlfriend to belfie queen. The book is a strange mix of retrograde wisdom (Guys like “girls who don’t get jealous or weird”) and empowering edicts (“You’ve gotta give yourself permission to be free, permission to be you”). Here, I test drive three of her baddest bad bitchisms.

How to Be a Bad Bitch, Gallery books, $36

A bad bitch stops traffic.
When she first shaved her head (13 years ago!), people would pull over just to compliment Rose on it. She says they immediately identified her as a bad bitch (BB) because the look left her with nothing to hide behind. And so, I eliminate a few of my security blankets: sunglasses; a crowd-blending uni of jeans, a button-down and sneakers; a sense of irony. I vacu-pack myself into a black Elizabeth and James minidress (with Spanx underneath because Rose devotes an entire page to her favourite undergarment) and—oh God—strap on a pair of high wedges I bought years ago but never wore. Off to brunch! Guys in cars gawk, but none stop. I tug at the tiny dress the whole time, worry that my Spanx is showing and tell my tablemates that my sexy ensemble is for work, even though I swore I wouldn’t do that. I place a napkin over my lap to hide exposed cellulite. I feel like Rose wouldn’t mind the failure because she also says, “It’s most important for you to feel comfortable with what you have on.” Back to jeans and tees.

Gently rubbing someone’s arm or leg can be way more enticing than getting naked.
This chaste nugget, which appears just a few pages away from “If you’re giving a blow job and you don’t want to swallow, get him to give you a facial instead,” goes down like this.

Me: *Gently touches BF’s arm while watching Silicon Valley*
BF: *Scratches arm* “Jared is my favourite.”
Me: *Moves hand slowly to BF’s jean-covered knee, maintaining hard eye-to-side-of-his-face contact*
BF: “What’s going on, sweetheart?”
Me: “Ummm…nothing. Just, you know, feeling your leg, feeling…[inarticulate mumbling].”
BF:*Kisses forehead* “You’re a weirdo. Man, this was a good episode.”

If someone doesn’t understand or accept who you are, f-ck them.
This is my new mantra. I repeat it to myself when an angry reader yells at me and when an acquaintance calls me a cougar because my boyfriend is younger than I am. I even apply it to memories of mean girls who mocked me, coaches who benched me and boys who dumped me. I say it out loud while writing this: f-ck them. So am I a bad bitch now? Rose says a BB learns from her mistakes, never answers questions too fast, doesn’t try to be something she’s not—all boxes I can check. I may not be ready to don a dental-floss bikini (or even a minidress at brunch), but I’m a bad bitch at heart.

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