Star Crushers

Don’t kill your idols. Take comfort in them.

Yoko Ono

By Anna

How big of a force of nature do you have to be to be accused of singlehandedly breaking up the biggest rock band in music history?

Yoko Ono confuses people—people who don’t know what to make of such a complicated, enigmatic, unapologetic woman (especially one married to a beloved rock star). I’ve started using her as a sort of character litmus test: I know whether I’m going to like somebody based on their opinion of Yoko. If you think she’s a bitch who destroyed the the Fab Four, then we probably aren’t going to get along. Because Yoko was amazing all by herself, and the Beatles had problems enough on their own—they didn’t need her help to break up.

Yoko Ono was a conceptual artist way before she met John Lennon—probably her most famous (and my favorite) work was Cut Piece, from 1965, where she sat on a stage and allowed audience members to come up and cut off pieces of her clothing.


It was a brave experiment, in which she placed enormous trust in the hands of strangers. Yoko was also a musician—her albums were experimental, avant garde, conceptual, and a whole bunch of other adjectives that basically say this woman is brilliant.

Even if you don’t dig her music—which is fair!—you gotta at least admire Yoko as a person. She’s had so much shit, many of it motivated by sexism and racism, flung at her over the years, and she still stands strong and committed: committed to her artwork, committed to inspiring and provoking radical thinking, and above all committed to her message of imagining peace.

(And because I am a fan of FURTHER READING, here are two things you need to check out if you have even a passing interest in Yoko Ono: Cara Kulwicki’s five-part series on why Yoko got a totally bad rap from Beatles fans who just didn’t get it, and Bitch magazine’s homage to the icon from other artists and musicians.)


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  • Hunter February 24th, 2012 7:23 PM

    Tavi the next time I spend the night, Lana better be there.

  • Marguerite February 24th, 2012 7:30 PM

    LANA DEL REY!!!!!


  • GagaMcQueen February 24th, 2012 7:31 PM

    Tavi:Please don’t diss Gaga. It would be cool if the people I worshiped liked each other. :P But Lana is really interesting! I think I’ll start listening to her. :)

    • mwong1025 February 24th, 2012 9:15 PM

      Exactly my thoughts. Both Lady Gaga and Lana Del Rey are my idols. I like Gaga because of the amount of effort and commitment she puts into her career and fans as opposed to other pop stars these days. And I like Lana because of all the things Tavi said.

      • Anaheed February 24th, 2012 9:17 PM

        Tavi’ll respond to this herself, I’m sure, but she is a Gaga fan!

      • Tavi February 25th, 2012 1:52 PM

        I am a Gaga fan! I just think she gets a little ahead of herself when she talks about her CONCEPTUALIZING

  • darksideoftherainbow February 24th, 2012 7:31 PM

    I LOVE lana del rey. I love her looks and just like with tattooes, I don’t think that your “look” has to have some big meaning behind it. She gorgeous, I love her voice, and her voice reminds me to have fun and be young while I can. Oh and Tavi, coke is number ONE. You’re so right to choose it over pepsi!

  • MissKnowItAll February 24th, 2012 7:32 PM

    Tavi- I feel as if you’re hijacking my thoughts and then publishing them on you’re website.
    Lana Del Rey is possibly the coolest and crush worthy celebs out there because she’s awesome and doesn’t try to act demure or subtle about it or anything. She’s cool and sexy and she boasts it to anyone who will listen. In short, she’s friggin awesome!
    Anaheed- I’m glad someone finally realizes this. Once JWoww went on the Rachel Ray show and went through a “Make-under”. When asked if she liked her toned down look, she said “No, because I like being sexy, I like feeling like I’m on top of the world”.
    But in my personal opinion, the most crush-worthy people out there are your guys here at Rookie:)

    • Anaheed February 24th, 2012 7:38 PM

      No way man, YOU are the crushworthy ones! I am not a fan of “makeunders” because I feel like, if someone’s happy with their look, who are you to say it’s “incorrect”? I LOVE that huge, barely dressed praying mantis of a lady JWoww.

      • MissKnowItAll February 24th, 2012 7:46 PM

        Have you ever read her book? I nearly died when I saw it at Target!

      • MissKnowItAll February 24th, 2012 7:54 PM

        Yeah I did! It’s called “The Rules According to JWoww” Tips on getting the guy and staying “fresh to death”. Best tag line on a book EVER

        • Anaheed February 24th, 2012 7:59 PM

          Aaaah she is so great! Was the book, er, “good”?

      • MissKnowItAll February 24th, 2012 8:03 PM

        I wouldn’t call it “good” material wise, but it’s so funny that I nearly spazzed when I read it.
        PS- Have you guys ever considered hiring interns to help with shoots or designing stuff? If so, then I would be interested.

        • Anaheed February 24th, 2012 8:08 PM

          We don’t have the resources to do that yet! But when we do you’ll be on the short list.

      • MissKnowItAll February 24th, 2012 8:09 PM


  • Katie February 24th, 2012 7:36 PM

    The Courtney Love one made me tear up a little. The exact same lyrics saved me through all my bullying in middle school, and still saves me today.

    • Stephanie February 28th, 2012 2:11 PM

      Those lyrics are insanely powerful. I don’t think Courtney gets nearly enough credit for what an incredible lyricist she is. IMO, she’s the best out there, but obviously I have a huge thing for her music ;)

  • kitterfly February 24th, 2012 7:36 PM

    Okay, not even done with the article but I HAVE TO COMMENT.
    I’m currently fussing over Lana Del Rey like nobody’s business (What does that expression even really MEAN? No idea. But it fits here).
    My facebook wall is, as of today, SOLID “Thank you for showing me Lana Del Rey”.
    Because she is good, and people NEED TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS.
    The aesthetic is weird and wonderful and a little bit wrong in a way that makes it all the better. She’s the Christian-Texas-cheerleader-pinup-Idon’tevenknow. But it’s just… glorious. I dragged my dad to best buy to get her album right away, and cried for hours when I missed her show at Amoeba (20 minutes from my house. How could I forget??!!)
    I have every lyric of her big three memorized, and am working on the rest, and… I love this girl. OHMYGOD.
    OOH! And, of course, thank god Beyoncé is in here. She is THE female role model, the amazon, the last of the glamorous…
    I will finish the article now.

  • Pashupati February 24th, 2012 7:40 PM

    :I just recently saw Foxfire after reading the book, though the adaptation has some issues. I loved Hackers because it was so kitsch and I loved how the teenagers did everything themselves without adults’ help and even saved adults (Dade’s mother! and adults’ money, too), I saw it a dozen times or more since my 11-years-old! (I also liked the computer theme, obvious) The article just makes her more interesting, because I learn these facts that makes her interesting, Maybe I’m gonna see Gia as I planned, and others movies with her… I also had this “wow, I read about them and listened to/saw a bit of them but I didn’t think they would be so cool at least to someone else which makes them cool in my eyes too” for others people in these articles. Even those I wouldn’t have thought could be so important to someone else, and then somehow I sorta admire those who shared their stories here because I now understand more how “celebrities” can be important to “average people”… You all shared your feelings so sincerely :o (everytime I read Rookie these days is makes me so excited…)

  • katie February 24th, 2012 7:52 PM

    I always feel the need to defend my love for LDR. If you ever got the chance to interview her, I think I would die a little.

  • Jenn February 24th, 2012 7:53 PM

    All of these women are so great (even the ones I haven’t heard of yet! like Julia Butterfly Hill and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi!) I just… ahhhh! And I had no idea there were so many reasons to like Jwoww? (I’ve never watched the Jersey Shore oops) But ugh I don’t even know how to feel all of these feelings just feel so feely! But ANGELINA JOLIE, LANA DEL REY, COURTNEY LOVE, GWEN STEFANI, AND DREW BARRYMORE ARE PERFECT AND I’M GONNA COOL IT BEFORE CAPS LOCK OVERLOAD (too late probably)

  • Mary February 24th, 2012 7:57 PM

    This is a really heart warming to read. Thank you all for being so thoughtful with your words! Lady love <3

  • royal_futura February 24th, 2012 8:01 PM

    I was an enormous Beatles fan as a child and the details of their various legends came to me slowly, bit-by-bit, as I became mature enough to handle the details. As a result, I discovered things in pieces, often incorrectly, and I spent many a night in my younger years crying into my pillow and cursing the name of Yoko Ono.

    When I grew a little bit wiser/older, I came to understand how wrong I had been. I explored Yoko as an individual, rather than a destructive force and I found I was impressed with her work as an activist, a feminist and an artist.

    I was probably thirteen when I wrote her a letter to apologize for all my ill thoughts towards her and told her she inspired me as an artist and as a woman. I felt better after I sent it and I realized I had learned a valuable lesson about judging people without knowing anything about their situation.

    Several months later, coming home from school, I checked my mailbox and saw a familiar return address that made my entire body go cold: Studio One, NY, NY.

    I raced to my bedroom and opened up the note: inside was a card engraved with an etching of the moon giving birth to an egg. It was signed Love, Yoko in that unmistakeable handwriting.

    Yoko changed my ideas about what artists could be to each other and her classy gesture of acknowledgement and forgiveness still resonates with me to this day. An excellent choice for a hero, if I do say so myself.

    • Adrienne February 24th, 2012 11:40 PM

      WOahhhh. Getting a reply from her.. that’s pretty awesome.

    • Laia February 25th, 2012 9:07 AM


    • Anna F. February 25th, 2012 3:06 PM

      I love this story. And I think it’s fair having misconceptions about Yoko when you’re young or haven’t heard much about her, because the dominate narrative about her that permeates our culture is so negative. Hell, my introduction to her was through the parody on the Simpsons:

      This is why I want to help get the word out to the masses about Yoko’s awesomeness.

    • karysrhiann February 27th, 2012 11:32 AM

      Whoa! Amazeballs.

      • Stephanie February 28th, 2012 2:12 PM

        OMG! That is such an awesome story. I love Yoko and even more so that she wrote you back!

  • MissKnowItAll February 24th, 2012 8:07 PM

    Hey, my question is off topic but I made a poster for you guys at Rookie and I wanted to know if there’s anyway I could send it to you guys.

  • supdudebro February 24th, 2012 8:14 PM

    I think Gaga is hilarious. Have you considered there may be some self-parody going on?
    She shows how ridiculous and over-the-top a celebrity becomes when they embrace their media-constructed image. like, imagine if Bob had gone along with the whole “voice of a generation” thing. imagine if he had an answer to the question about the “motorcycle as an image” on HIS album cover (
    Lady Gaga has this whole simulacral ultracelebrity thing going on, and self-righteous pandering to inane media questioning fits in logically with that.

  • cherryblossomgirl3122 February 24th, 2012 8:28 PM

    Hey guys, I don’t know if you didn’t notice this/don’t really care, but in the tags at the top of the page, you misspelled Lana Del Rey.;P

  • busybeinfree February 24th, 2012 8:29 PM

    Yoko is a god. the day she dies i will cry a river.

  • Rose February 24th, 2012 8:32 PM

    Yoko, J Woww, Hell YES! But what about


    She is my contribution to your killer list

    • Hunter February 24th, 2012 8:38 PM

      Patti is the ultimate goddess.

      • Dylan February 24th, 2012 9:36 PM

        oh my god Patti Smith I was thinking about her too

  • elphie February 24th, 2012 8:41 PM

    Hi My name is Mundungus Fletcher

  • ErrolCole February 24th, 2012 8:52 PM

    Full disclosure: I’m only on page 3, and I’m drunk on red wine and Tallisker… but, this is the BEST ARTICLE THAT I HAVE EVER READ. That is all.

  • sobrina February 24th, 2012 9:22 PM

    BEYONCE!! The first time I heard Countdown, I was literally laughing out loud because I didn’t know how else to express my joy. She is THE QUEEN.

    • Dylan February 24th, 2012 9:36 PM

      The first time, I was tanning on my uncle’s motor boat on this lake, feeling like such a diva with my iPod and diet Coke with a straw in it, and then that song hit me like a ton of bricks. It completed that moment…it completed me.

  • weetzie February 24th, 2012 9:39 PM

    “i saw her as a survivor, and surviving is complex. in the course of surviving, sometimes you fuck up.”

    reading that struck me so hard. eloquently reminds me of why i love courtney so much. she did what she needed to do to survive, we all do.

    definitely something to remember/live by.
    thank you rookie!

    • Stephanie February 28th, 2012 2:13 PM

      It’s probably one of the biggest things Courtney taught me. Glad it resonated with you :)

  • MissKnowItAll February 24th, 2012 9:59 PM

    Lana Del Rey is the self proclaimed gangsta Nancy Sinatra

    • Chimdi February 25th, 2012 2:24 PM

      she’s also said she’s never even listened to Nancy Sinatra :/

  • Leanna February 24th, 2012 10:15 PM

    Laia, I love your piece on Gwen Stefani. My experience of loving her and the rest of No Doubt is really similar to yours. I think there will always be a special place in my heart for all of them (even when I’m not so into some of their music.)

    • Laia February 25th, 2012 1:37 AM

      thanks girl!

      when you posted your gwen scrapbook the other day i was like OMG I HAVE ONE TOO.

      tru <3

  • I.ila February 24th, 2012 10:38 PM

    In my dreams I live in the countdown video.

  • February 24th, 2012 10:40 PM

    Tavi, I loved your piece on Lana Del Rey!!!!!! It’s good to know that someone is as fiercely defensive of her as I am, she’s the COOLEST!!!

  • junebug February 24th, 2012 11:00 PM

    This is perfect…it’s sometimes scary how one person, especially one you don’t even know, can change your life, you know? Sometimes these people step in and I swear it’s like divine intervention. I know that sounds lame, especially coming from an atheist, but sometimes I wonder what I would do if it hadn’t been for my biggest star (John Lennon).

    I especially loved the Courtney Love piece, it made me tear up a little. When you connect with people like that…it’s scary, sometimes how they save you/destroy you.

    P.S. Coming from a huge Beatles fan, I appreciated the defense of Yoko. People often look at me like I’ve got two heads when I say yeah, I like her. Like you said, she’s less a woman than a force of nature. She rocks and is completely unappreciated, but continues to rock anyway.

  • isadora February 24th, 2012 11:06 PM

    Loved all of these, especially Yoko’s.
    But I thought someone would pick Amanda Palmer. ):

    • Katie February 24th, 2012 11:45 PM

      Amanda Palmer is a goddess <3

    • taste test February 25th, 2012 1:25 PM

      Amanda Palmer is pretty all-around amazing.

    • AnguaMarten February 25th, 2012 1:39 PM

      I fucking love Amanda Palmer. She’s loud and weird and interesting and badass and she’s married to Neil Gaiman. So yeah I basically want to be her when I grow up.

  • Carol February 24th, 2012 11:13 PM

    Quite possibly the best Rookie article yet.

    Laia: I’m Puerto Rican too, an avid Gwen fan, and in the process of getting my license—yikes! Also, I kinda look up to you and would love to meet you? ¡Cuídate!

    • Laia February 25th, 2012 1:38 AM

      Gracias, Carol!

      Good luck with the license! I only ever got my learners permit and then i let it expire. womp womp.


  • Adrienne February 24th, 2012 11:39 PM

    Aung San Suu Kyi. Omg. Thank you for including her. She’s a total inspiration. <3
    And I like JWoww page! Haha.

  • Nomi February 25th, 2012 12:57 AM

    Oh man, laia, I totally agree. Gwen stefani is the epitome of cool. She’s been my style icon since I saw the music video for Hey Baby, and I have all of her solo songs on itunes. (Incidentally, “Excuse Me Mister” by No Doubt was playing on my Pandora station while I was reading this part of the article. Coincidence? Hell no.)

    • Laia February 25th, 2012 1:39 AM


      true story.

  • Susann February 25th, 2012 1:37 AM

    You have such amazing and inspiring women on there! I agree on every point regarding LDR and I think it’s so cool that you even have Yoko Ono on the list!

  • Laia February 25th, 2012 1:41 AM

    i love our love for other ladies!

  • startmelaughing February 25th, 2012 1:44 AM

    I think the piece about Courtney Love was probably the greatest and sweetest thing ever written about her.

    • Stephanie February 28th, 2012 2:02 PM

      Aww thank you :) I kinda just poured my heart out.

  • Miarele February 25th, 2012 1:56 AM

    Rookie writers, I don’t know how you do this. You make almost every article so relatable, heartwarming, and fits to at least a stage on everyone’s lives. Whenever I feel down, I’ll just open this site and I know I will find something that will console me and make me feel a lot better. This article is a big tug on the heartstrings and I can’t even describe why. Gosh, if I could give you all Pulitzer Prizes and even Nobel Prizes, believe me I WOULD. IN A HEARTBEAT :’)

    Anyway, Laia – Gwen Stefani is such a style icon, throughout the ages! I don’t even know how she manage to pull off every look she ever tried. But why so much hate on her solo era? I think it’s not that bad, I like how she manages to sneak out whimsical themes, fairy tale allusions, even movie references in her songs :D come on, at least you gotta admit the video for “Cool” is kinda — wait no, VERY — pretty! ;)

    Naomi – thank you for including Aung San Suu Kyi! I remember the when I studied about her in Diplomatics class, it enraged me so much finding out how she was treated. Until now, every time I read her story, it still gives me chills. This including yours, of course :)

    • Laia February 25th, 2012 9:08 AM

      i LOVED her first solo record. it’s the second one that has no love from me.

  • Tessa February 25th, 2012 2:13 AM

    YES. LANA DEL REY IS ONE RIGHTEOUS HUMAN BEING. I tweeted her weeks ago asking her if she would do her “small venue tour” Chicago appearance in my bedroom. She hasn’t gotten back to me yet….but if she does, you’re invited!

    I love everything about her, down to how awkward as hell she is in any live appearance. That Brit Awards speech? Golden.

    I play her album constantly as I sway and sing along in a deep voice in between my over-excited “GGUUYSSS THIS IS LANNAAAA” fits.

    Of course, I’ve been giver her CD to anyone that has ears. She really stole my heart the first time I saw the ‘Born To Die’ video. TIGERS. CHURCHES. JOINTS. LANA LOOKING LIKE SEX.

    I think she is absolutely amazing to look at and I love her voice and for the SNL thing, she didn’t even have an IEM in, which maximizes the difficulty. But of course, her defense was so Lana of her, “I thought I did fine, I looked beautiful and I thought I sang well.” She’s the bestest.

  • Bebe February 25th, 2012 2:35 AM

    I am sort of disappointed at the fact that as much as I love and enjoy Rookie, it strikes me as odd there was ONE woman of color in this group. I’d like to hear more voices on a)what it means to be feminist and a minority today and b)whats it like to not be privileged, middle-class and educated. these two desires don’t need to intersect necessarily , I just don’t feel like Rookie even remotes glosses over it. I don’t need to know what it is like to be suburban middle class feminist. That’s boring.

    • Anaheed February 25th, 2012 2:46 AM

      There are actually three women of color in this group. But point taken.

      • Bebe February 25th, 2012 9:07 PM

        Oops! You are right! And please don’t take my comment as negative, just frustrated. I really enjoy Rookie and I;d like to see it go great places, just occasionally let-down, especially when you guys went all of February without a post pertaining to Black History month. Though i could have missed it!

        Anyways keep up the good work!

  • Jesss February 25th, 2012 7:01 AM

    This is brilliant!

  • Violet February 25th, 2012 7:47 AM

    Ahem, that is not a photo of Aung San Suu Kyi (it is on the poster though). :)

    Fun article – I wish you guys had delved a little bit more on the ‘behind the scenes’ lives of these girls. What I love and find inspirational about the singer/actresses among these women is that they are dealing with HUGE entertainment / money making machines, and somehow manage to exist and glow beyond them.

    Totally agreeing on the diversity comment. Loving Rookie, but hope it won’t get caught in a cycle of its own culture/references. Right now I am dying to know what other socio-economic groups are thinking and if they participate or no in the conversation.


    • Anaheed February 25th, 2012 12:25 PM

      Thanks, Violet — fixing the picture now.

  • hazeleyedgirl February 25th, 2012 8:47 AM

    Lana Del Rey is amazing. END OF STORY KAY?

    I am so happy you wrote about Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. She is one of my biggest inspirations. The movie made about he rstruggle that came out earlier this year (The Lady) was life changing and since then I have been researching her work. She truly fantastic <3

    • Chimdi February 25th, 2012 2:22 PM

      yup I ♥ Daw Aung San Suu Kyi :)

      I wish Rookie had done more profiles of female peacemakers and politicians, though…
      (thinking of Miss Representation)

    • Naomi Morris February 25th, 2012 3:56 PM

      i REALLY want to see it!!! i am reading her book letters from burma at the moment which i really recommend

  • Cosmo Beatrix February 25th, 2012 10:13 AM

    woah. who’da known ?
    i am WAY going to order all of angies films after that … and i am soo exited!

  • isabellehungryghost February 25th, 2012 10:22 AM

    OMG! I loooooove Angelina Jolie! shes just sooo perfect, and beautiful and just an awwwwsome woman! i looove her!

  • SuzieQ February 25th, 2012 12:04 PM

    Beyonce is a force of nature! I have a huge picture of her in my desk to remind me that if she can do everything she has ever done, I can at least study for a test.

    All I ever heard about Yoko was insults when I was a child. So one day I was listening to one of John’s CD and Yoko was in it and I just fell in love with her. How can you hear her sing and not fall in love? And the more people told me they hated her voice, the more I loved her because she doesn’t give a damn that she doesn’t have the greatest voice in the world. And that makes her bad ass.

    Gwen is my life. So jealous of every outfit she has ever worn. And she’s another great female that just seems to not give a shit about what people say about her. I mean, she wore pink hair and braces!!!

  • Tabea February 25th, 2012 12:08 PM

    I’ve always asked my self, if Tavi likes Lana Del Rey, like I do. Thanks for the answer! :)

    Truly yours,

  • ximena February 25th, 2012 12:58 PM

    Joan Jett?

  • Sphinx February 25th, 2012 12:59 PM

    Love this.
    Stephanie, I bought I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone last August and the very day it was going to be delivered, the mail carriers went on strike for like, a month, and the book was lost forever.
    Reading this reminded me that I still have to read it, sounds like everything I love wrapped up together!

    • Stephanie February 28th, 2012 2:04 PM

      Eeek sorry the book got lost! Hope you do get your hands on it and enjoy it. I definitely put a lot of what Courtney taught me into it.

  • taste test February 25th, 2012 1:11 PM

    this is an amazing article (bunch of articles?). I’m really happy Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is there. she is so brave it doesn’t even seem like she’s real- but she definitely is.

    Stephanie, your essay about Courtney Love is so great. I can relate, even though in my case, I wouldn’t thank just Courtney Love but women in punk bands in general. I first found Sleater-Kinney as a freshman in high school, when I was so shy from years of bullying that I barely talked to anyone at school. they led me to Bikini Kill, which led me to Bratmobile, which led me to Hole and Babes in Toyland and The Distillers and even more. all of them made me realize it’s okay to be loud and it’s okay to get mad and stand up for yourself, and they taught me more about Sisterhood and Empowerment than my all-female Catholic high school ever claimed it would. your last sentence just makes me so happy.

    • Stephanie February 28th, 2012 2:05 PM

      Yes, yes yes!!!! I love all those bands, too. Hole/Courtney led me to most of them and they taught me the same things they taught you. Girl rock forever! It’s powerful!

  • AnguaMarten February 25th, 2012 1:22 PM

    lana de rey just annoys me. i think it’s how she acts like she came from nothing, when her dad’s a millionaire. saying you lived in a trailer park and couldn’t afford to buy cocoa puffs when you could buy the entire freaking company is offensive and appropriative. i mean, poverty is not an identity you can just try on. it’s not something that should be romanticized. i have the same problem with her “gangsta” thing and her “hispanic” stage name. i’m not bothered by her lack of “authenticity” or whatever, but she appropriates people’s cultures and struggles and that is not cool.

    • Chimdi February 25th, 2012 2:19 PM

      yeah…I don’t HATE her, that’s really unnecessary when I’ve never even met her, but I’m not a fan. Plus I’m not a huge fan of plastic surgery so yeah.

      • Anna F. February 25th, 2012 2:59 PM

        Have you read Rachael’s piece on plastic surgery?

      • AnguaMarten February 25th, 2012 5:53 PM

        I’ve never had a problem with plastic surgery, unless it’s obsessive or solely based on catering to the male gaze. And even then, I hate the game, not the player. My reasons for disliking Ms. Del Rey are completely seperate from her lips.

  • Tavi February 25th, 2012 1:52 PM

    I think we’ll have to do a part two!

    • Anaheed February 28th, 2012 8:57 PM

      Yeah man, I need to talk about Maya Rudolph.

  • byebyebatman February 25th, 2012 2:01 PM

    Gwen is a goddess. Truly.

  • Chimdi February 25th, 2012 2:18 PM

    I really wish someone would have written about AMY POEHLER or Rachel Maddow…

    • Anna F. February 25th, 2012 2:57 PM

      Go for it! Tell us about your own obsessions in the comments. We know we aren’t the only ones with star crushes ;)

  • ulrichvonblank February 25th, 2012 3:25 PM

    First of all, love this site, wish it had existed when I was in my early teens! Also, love this article and all of these women. That said, I don’t see why the inevitable gaga-dissing is necessary, and frankly I find it troublesome that she is so often derided for her sincerity, and for the fact that she takes herself seriously. Does everything have to be ironic? I’m not saying she doesn’t get carried away sometimes, lord knows she wouldn’t be as wonderfully whacked-out if she didn’t–but it just irks me that she gets so much criticism for not disclaiming herself, for having the audacity to take herself seriously.

    No, she’s not saving the world, but she is entitled to take her work seriously, and regard herself as an artist with legitimate inspirations at the very least. Because she’s so pop, and because she’s a woman, I think people have –probably unidentified–urges to take that away from her. (btw I don’t mean to accuse you of this specifically Tavi, you are clearly not someone who wants to deprive women of their agency.)

    But I do feel like the worst offense gaga commit’s in many people’s opinions is to take herself seriously. how dare she?

    • Tavi February 25th, 2012 3:29 PM

      I’m glad she has faith in what she does and believes in her message, especially when so many people use irony to separate themselves from their work in case they find that people don’t like it. But I still think it goes too far and she just ends up defeating her own message by trying to apply meaning to EVERYTHING, when, really, it is totally ok to be a pop star who has SOME songs that are REALLY JUST ABOUT DANCING.

      • ulrichvonblank February 26th, 2012 3:07 AM

        j’agree with this essentially, just had to speak up for the gaga– my inner super crush makes me feel the need to defend with ferocity. this article is on point — feelings run deep for these star crushes

  • Naomi Morris February 25th, 2012 3:55 PM

    my life that picture of beyonce is a beautiful thing

  • hollz February 25th, 2012 4:05 PM

    Ahhh, so much love for Courtney. I only have guy friends who like Nirvana and therefore think Courtney’s a a psycho bandwrecker bitch and ignore my suggestions to listen to Hole. That article is such a nice tribute to her, it acknowledges all her flaws but also empathises her good points which are always ignored.
    I love Nirvana and Kurt Cobain got me through the whole of high school. I always believed that they truly loved each other but also as completely fucked up as each other. The only difference between them is that Courtney didn’t give up on life. :[

    • Stephanie February 28th, 2012 2:08 PM

      Glad you enjoyed my tribute. I’m a huge Nirvana fan, too. Okay that is the understatement of the year. They are my favorite band. I think you are spot on with what you said and I wish Kurt had had more of Courtney’s survival instinct/will to live.

  • Pinkwitchcraft February 25th, 2012 4:08 PM

    Suggestion: You should do a part two to this post, and this time make it readers crushes!

  • Violet February 25th, 2012 5:12 PM

    I would love to try to write something.
    My hero is Amy Goodman. V

  • Pema February 25th, 2012 7:03 PM

    I would just like to say that Beyonce has never let me down. She has a song for every feeling and situation. I’m all alone in a big city this year, away from all my friends, my boyfriend, my immediate family and everyone I know well, and the other day I listened to ‘Emotion’ (technically Destiny’s Child, I KNOW, geez), and I cried for a bit coz I missed my gurls, but then I realised (thanks to Beyonce, Kelly and Michelle) that they were always there for me and I just needed to link them the song on facebook and then skype them and they would completely understand and send me endless love. Beyonce gets everything about being a woman. We all have a bit of Beyonce inside of us!!!!!

  • cleobea February 25th, 2012 8:12 PM

    Tavi, you need to write a book. a book of your rambling amazing mind. please. And you need to read Why We Broke Up, by Daniel Handler. Everyone needs to.

  • Zoe with two dots February 25th, 2012 9:26 PM

    I ADORE Lana Del Rey. I first heard Video Games, by chance, on Triple J (Australia’s alternative music station) back in October, and I was hooked from there. The back of my door is covered in pictures of her…obsessive? Possibly. But it’s LDR, she’s a queen, and I love her music to bits. I can’t stand the hate around her.

    Oh and Gwen Stefani and No Doubt <3 I'm so excited for ND's new album!

  • Katherine February 25th, 2012 10:03 PM

    My hero is Kim Peek.

  • yeslucy February 26th, 2012 12:22 PM

    Anaheed, have you seen this?

    Cracks me up. She’s so patriotic! haha

    • Anaheed February 26th, 2012 12:24 PM

      Oh my god! GEORGE BUSH??? Jenniiiiii!!!!!

      That was genius; thank you, yeslucy.

  • Jane Jammers February 26th, 2012 1:24 PM

    My current girlcrush/obsession is Melissa Harris-Perry on MSNBC. She’s just so smart, articulate, warm and pretty. I want to be best friends with her and hang out at dinner parties. She could probably recommend some great books too and would be nice about filling me in on the details of major news matters that I don’t know about.

    But I also wanted to share a Yoko story. When I first moved to NYC, I went with some friends to Strawberry Fields in Central Park on John Lennon’s birthday. There was a large group of people there, singing his songs and remembering. Slowly, some people started drifting over the the Dakota with giant plates of food and word spread that they were giving away hot dinner at the Dakota. Being poor college students, my friends and I booked it over there. There was a table set up outside a backdoor and several staff members were serving up plates of incredible food to anyone stopping by. On legitimate plates too! We asked where the food was coming from and the staff members just said “Her” and pointed up. Yoko had given everyone dinner in John’s honor! It was amazing and she is awesome.

  • Filia-Zissy February 26th, 2012 1:38 PM

    I like Lana del Rey too. I think it’s silly too critisize her for being, you know “fake”. Yes, she has a stage name and the way she’s presenting herself is not so “natural”. It’s all show, but you have to admit it’s a very beautiful show. Did anyone critisized Lady Gaga for not being natural? I don’t think so. Why all this debate?

  • Brodie February 26th, 2012 2:20 PM

    Anaheed, your contribution to this list was undoubtedly my favorite. I totally agree that mama bear JWoww doesn’t receive the love she gives out. With the exception of Pauly’s sadness after Vinnie left this season, Jenny’s breakdown after Tom broke up with her and was a total d-bag was the most that show has ever made me cry.

  • brynntheredonethat February 26th, 2012 6:19 PM

    I love it! But I do wish you’d give Lady Gaga some credit. I think she’s just as inspirational as anyone on this list, and who knows? Maybe she’s not pretending that there’s meaning behind her weird art. There usually is, behind things like that.

  • shjaron February 27th, 2012 12:06 AM

    This was a stunning article. You guys manage to impress me every day. Can’t wait to see more strong, inspiring, confident, redefining, independent women. Thank you so much xxx

  • clady February 27th, 2012 4:04 AM

    who’s love bruno? :D

  • karysrhiann February 27th, 2012 9:17 AM

    Oh man, I thought I was the only one who felt that way about Lana. There’s so much hate for her but I think she’s brill xx

  • starsinyourheart February 27th, 2012 10:31 AM

    yay LDR and Jwoww!

  • starsinyourheart February 27th, 2012 10:32 AM

    Also completely need to listen to Courtney Love now.

  • golddustwoman February 27th, 2012 7:06 PM

    OH MY GOD! i love this website sooooo much! the piece written about Courtney Love almost made me cry! and then i click the link to the novel! Stephanie Kuehnert, I wanna be your joey ramone! im reading that book right now for the second time, i just love it sooooooo much! i love this website, i feel like it was made just for me!

    Wow, i sound crazy in this ^^ but i dont care, im in love!

    • Stephanie February 28th, 2012 2:10 PM

      You don’t sound crazy. You totally just made my day :) I’m glad you love the book so much!

  • poppunkgurrrlx February 27th, 2012 7:07 PM

    this article has every perfect fierce female that matters in it <3 rookie, i love you guys.

  • KK February 27th, 2012 8:12 PM

    Beyonce is my hero! I taped a picture of her on my mirror to remind myself to channel my inner sasha fierce

  • elephanttrunk February 27th, 2012 10:50 PM

    This article was really disappointing! I didn’t like Lana before and I was hoping that Tavi might be able to give me some interesting reasons about why Lana is cool. But the only argument I see here is that ‘she just seems cool.’ That’s not really enough for me. To me, Lana is the perfect example of how our culture is being sold back to us, i.e. how our new “alternative icon” has actually been crafted by a huge company.

    Her cool scary friend’s cooler scarier big sister image is one that has been specifically designed , in just the same way as Gaga’s image has been.

    • Tavi February 27th, 2012 11:10 PM

      I don’t think anyone considers her alternative though? She’s such a POP star. All the Americana imagery. That’s the aesthetic I love.

      • elephanttrunk February 27th, 2012 11:27 PM

        On iTunes, LDR’s genre is ‘alternative’ not ‘pop’… On Hipster Runoff, she is listed as “alternative celebrity,” “Buzzband,” and “hot female indie singer.” This is how she is classified, in spite of the fact that she is gaining real popularity. I think in this way, she exemplifies the way that the line between alternative and mainstream corporate is becoming really blurred, and the falsehood of her image is what I don’t like about her. But yes, i agree, her aesthetic is very pretty. (in spite of the fact that it was produced by a big company….)

        • Tavi February 27th, 2012 11:54 PM

          I guess there are two ways to evaluate a star/artist, one is in cultural context and the message they send and what it means for where music is or whatever, and the other is just on a personal level, how much you like their art/aesthetic and relate to it (which I already talked about in the article so I won’t reiterate!). For LDR’s cultural context I think she was mistreated by the media, I think it’s condescending that people are so doubtful that she could be self-made. As for the alternative/mainstream stuff, those lines are already so blurred today, I don’t think it’s worth trying to determine if someone is one or the other, and for me it doesn’t play into either way I talked about evaluating a pop star by. Like, I don’t really care about how iTunes would classify her, especially not Hipster Runoff, which is satire anyway, part of the joke is classifying people into buzzword terms. I understand the ambivalence since it’s hard to know for sure what’s true, but I like her too much on the personal level to care I guess. *shrug*

  • Manatee February 27th, 2012 11:15 PM

    I get why LDR is so appealing… but I still can’t help being super cynical about her. The thing is, I tend to worship celebrities who exude PASSION and ENERGY… like Courtney, Beyonce, Mick Jagger, Patti Smith – they’re all really inspiring because they’re so sincerely passionate about what they’re doing. But when I look at LDR, I don’t see any of that passion or energy. To me, LDR exemplifies that distant, “chill” attitude that seems to be spreading like a disease.
    I hate to be so negative and all, but like GIVE ME SOME PASSION GURL!

    • Tavi February 27th, 2012 11:21 PM

      Yeah no I get that. I think I spend most of my time being unabashedly obsessed and enthusiastic about things so in my mind LDR’s distant thing is different, from what I’m used to. And in that big sister cool way I’m just like, GAWD YOU’RE SO COOL.

      • Manatee February 27th, 2012 11:47 PM

        But I think the cool/distant thing may get old pretty quickly. For me, LDR doesn’t compare to those TIMELESS celebs that will always be worth worshipping ’cause they’re so damned passionate/exciting/weird.

  • elephanttrunk February 28th, 2012 12:10 AM

    For some reason I can’t comment on Tavi’s comment above so I’ll just write it here: I know what its like to have a totally visceral affection for something (dance moms anyone?), but I just think that we should be more aware of what the media is feeding us (and why) and that we should be aware of when true authenticity actually exists.

    • Manatee February 28th, 2012 12:22 AM

      abby lee dance company 4ever

  • Sonja February 28th, 2012 12:34 AM


  • MichyMich February 29th, 2012 7:18 AM

    I have to admit that I LOVE Courtney Love. I follow her on Twitter, own Live Through This and Nobody’s Daughter, downloaded a bajillion other Hole songs and watched her on The People vs. Larry Flynt, Hole MTV Unplugged and the VH1 series (twice)! Although she’s “the most controversial rock star”, Courtney is more than that label. Stephanie, I am so glad that you wrote about Courtney and the impact that she made in your life. I have to admit that I feel the same, too. I became a feminist all because of Courtney and she even influenced me to discover other awesome girl bands like Babes in Toyland and L7. Other than that, she’s also my fashion icon!

    But the one thing that disappoints me is that she’s always being slammed by the media as this “psychopath who killed Kurt Cobain” and a “train wreck”. Even worse, I hate the fact that Courtney Love is being under appreciated as an artist and a true genius.

    P.S. I wish that I am as lucky as you since you met CLC!

  • whoopingcrane February 29th, 2012 1:10 PM

    stephanie thank you for writing about courtney love! she’s so underappreciated- when i think of her, i think of her strength, her powerful voice, i think of all the pain that she channels into something so beautiful and raw. when i asked my roommates what they thought of when i mentioned her, they said some words like “junkie” or “mess” and it just broke my heart.
    thats so amazing that you got to meet her!
    what a beautiful, sweet, and honest piece. its really such a lovely tribute to who courtney love has been in your life and in the lives of countless others.

  • MichyMich February 29th, 2012 8:20 PM

    Dylan, thank you for featuring Beyoncé! I have to admit that she’s THE BEST ENTERTAINER ever! I saw her at the F1 concert in Singapore and she was awesome witha a capital A. From the choreography, charisma and fashion sense, nothing beats Queen B. Her live performance was totally unforgettable and the way Beyoncé sang was EXACTLY like her CD – catchy and melodic.

    I even LOVE her albums – “B-Day”, “4″, “Dangerously in Love” and “I am…” + Destiny’s Child and her movies – “Dreamgirls” and “Austin Powers: Goldmember”.

    I am so grateful that you featured Beyoncé because she isn’t afraid to be who she is and I love the fact that she’s not your typical attention-seeking pop star. I even admire her (and Jay-Z) for being so protective of Blue Ivy and keeping her love life out of the tabloids by laying low (like Gwyneth Paltrow).

    Stay fierce, Beyoncé! I <3 you!

  • lboogie March 15th, 2012 3:01 PM

    gwen stefani is so amazingly awesome!!!! i have a picture of her when she had pink hair, braces, makeup and everything else pink, taped on my door. <3 you gwen!

  • 3LL3NH March 16th, 2012 5:07 PM

    I don’t know much about Beyonce, and I’m not trying to get anyone to not like her, but as a dancer myself I se the other side and feel the need to say that the Countdown video is not her original work, and nor is the Single Ladies video for that matter. A lot of the content of Countdown is taken from choreography by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker. See here:

    Apparently the sincerest form of flattery, I’m grateful that people know of Anna’s talent, and Beyonce’s admitted what she did, but I still think it’s unfair that a million dollar star can ‘steal’ choreography so blatantly with no consequences. The original work, can be seen here:

  • jvds April 9th, 2012 3:37 PM

    I was enjoying the post, but what has really won me over ‘s been the last one – JWoww man, I love her!

  • carolpd April 15th, 2012 10:43 AM

    I have a crush on Alice Glass since I was 15 years old, she’s truly an amazing girl

  • rainymondays June 11th, 2013 10:28 PM

    I absolutely loved the Courtney Love and Angelina Jolie articles. I don’t really care what other people say about them, I think they’re awesome!