Girls That Rock on The X: Taylor Momsen of The Pretty Reckless
With The Pretty Reckless' 'Heaven Knows' in The X's rotation, naturally, I’ve had Momsen on the mind. With the rock music industry still being fairly male dominated, seeing a young, talented female take charge kind of makes you take a step back— but that’s only one reason why I have a big girl crush on The Pretty Reckless’ frontwoman.
The first time I saw The Pretty Reckless was summer of 2010 in Denver, just before the debut of the band’s freshman album, Light Me Up (it hadn’t even dawned on me that I was feet away from Gossip Girl’s polished, bubbly Blair Waldorf-wannabe, Jenny Humphrey).
Though both Momsen and I were just teenagers, I recall her gritty performance; guitar and cigarette in hand, raccoon-eyed and in thigh-high stockings (which my mother would have never let me out of the house if I even thought about wearing). To be honest, I'm much more of a two-shoes Jenny Humphrey than I am a Taylor Momsen, but I’m pretty sure it was from that point on that I took more of a liking to leather jackets, shredded black nylons and prescribing myself an overdose of ‘You’ every time I got my heart broken.
On the outside, Momsen— a stunning, leggy, platinum blonde— seems like a stereotypical foil to the rest her bandmates; a stark contrast to her own charcoaled eyelids and even darker lyrics. She’s kind of reminiscent of a baby-doll-dress-era Courtney Love.
Females like Momsen, however, have an important presence in rock music because they bring something to the table that, without them, the genre would lack. That is a place for women to relate; an outlet for our unique feminine angst (and no, I don't mean that). Sure, you could argue that her over-the-top risque image and controversial themes are hardly something to associate with female empowerment, however, some of Momsen’s lyrics portray her as someone who is strong, but can feel vulnerable. That she is tough, but conscious of her emotions. That she can be feminine and soft without losing her hard edge. Those songs are my favorite and, if anything, I think that deserves a little respect.
Watch out, boys.