Lessons Gwen Stefani Taught Me

July 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

To call Her Royal Highness Gwen Stefani my idol is an understatement. I worship her. She is poised, she is ambitious, she is witty, she is beautiful, and in my humble opinion, she is a badass who helped define a generation. We all have our heroes. The Queen of Ska is mine, and I’d like to share with you the things she has taught me.


Braces and blunt-cut pink bangs are a winning combination.
Gwen has rocked numerous looks over the years (as have I), even going so far as to wear a bindi to show her individuality. For those of you who don’t know what a bindi is, Google it. No matter how ridiculous she looks, one would never say she looks ‘bad.’ (For those of you who will argue, GET OFF THIS PAGE, I have no use for your dissent of HRH). There are many different ways to be beautiful. Gwen gives awkward nerdy girls (like myself) hope that they will either grow up and grow into their looks, or look just as weird ten years from now, but be a badass doing it.

A white wifebeater cannot survive without a jewel-toned bra.
Please see above. Fuck the haters and make ’em stare. She always looks awesome, and half the time she’s essentially dressed like it’s laundry day. Confidence is sexy.

Don’t hollaback.
A few times she’s been ’round that track, so it’s not just gonna happen like that, ’cause she ain’t no hollaback girl. And you shouldn’t be, either. Keep your knees closed and your blouse zipped. Mystery is sexy. I learned that the hard way. Don’t give them what they want, or they’ll break up with you on a vacation your parents paid for.

You can be friends with your ex-boyfriend.
Tony Kanal broke up with Gwen Stefani and they went on to make one of the most successful and genre-bending albums of all time, Tragic Kingdom. “Don’t Speak,” the band’s third single and most-played song of 1996, was nominated for two Grammys and is about the collapse of Tony & Gwen’s relationship while continuing to collaborate. It is marvelous. However, if your ex-boyfriend isn’t mature and concerned with your best interests, maybe you shouldn’t be friends with him. We can’t all get dumped by the Tony Kanals of the world.

If you go solo and your band still backs you, those are the people to keep around.
People that will let you go off on your own and respect you and the work you do, as well as the art you create, while loving you unconditionally, are the kind of people you want in your life. People who yell at you for choosing to go to college instead of moving into the desert to have a baby at age 18 are not people who truly love you. Whenever I forget this, I listen to “The Sweet Escape,” and remember it again. True story.

Real love survives a rock steady ride.
And if it doesn’t, it’s not real. That’s an easy one. Thanks Gwen.

And when it’s really bad, I guess, it’s not that bad.
Underneath it all, things could be worse. Thanks for the perspective.

Get in line and settle down.
I would like to mass-text this to everyone who constantly texts me to check up to see if I’m “doing fine.” Go to Youtube and watch the new Settle Down video, and then please apply that to your conversations with me. “I’m fine and nothing’s gonna knock this girl down, I’m hella positive for real, I’m all good” –  and you should be too.

You came in with the breeze on Sunday Morning, you sure have changed since yesterday without any warning. I thought I knew you well…oh well.
How appropriate.

I grew up with Gwen, and Tragic Kingdom has gotten me through every major stumbling block in my twenty years of living. After all, it came out when I was three years old. “Sappy pathetic little me, that was the girl I used to be, you had me on my knees” couldn’t be truer, but it won’t be anymore. I owe her a big fuckin’ thank you for reminding me that the only way to heal is to rise above.

Thank you to my soulmate, Mindy Rosen, for her assistance in the compilation of this list.


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