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Life Lessons from Film Noir Femme Fatales, The Original #NastyWomen

I enjoy a lot of classic vintage films, but I think my favorite Old Hollywood genre is film noir. So I was excited to learn that November is Noirvember at the Turner Classic Movies channel. I love noir. I love the gorgeous shadowy cinematography, I love the twisty plots, I love the tough-talking retro dialogue, I love that the men can actually wear fedoras and not look like complete tools. I love the cynicism and mystery and sexuality and danger. And I love the femme fatales.

Film noir—like old movies in general—has a reputation for being misogynistic, and it often is. But what’s striking to me about a lot of the classic femme fatales of movies like Double Indemnity, Gilda, The Killers, and The Postman Always Rings Twice is that while they are figures very much rooted in male anxieties about female power and sexuality, they’re electrifying to watch as a woman. These dames might be schemers and murderers, but they have agency. They have power. They know what they want and they’re not afraid to get it, and they look great while doing so. And that’s kind of seriously empowering.  

1. When you make an entrance, MAKE AN ENTRANCE.


2. Don’t apologize for asserting your independence.

3. Own your sexuality – don’t be afraid to take charge!

4. Dress to kill.

5. When nice, decent people say you’re no good, ignore them. They’re all fools and hypocrites anyway.  

6. SLAY. Both figuratively and literally, if need be.

*None of the images are owned by Her Campus or the author.

Aimee Lim is a junior at UC Davis, pursuing an English major with an emphasis in Creative Writing as well as a minor in Biology. Besides writing and editing for Her Campus at UCD, she is interning as a middle school's teacher's assistant and for the McIntosh & Otis Literary Agency. She also volunteers for the UCD Center for Advocacy, Research, and Education (CARE), which combats campus sexual assault, domestic/dating violence, and stalking. An aspiring novelist, her greatest achievement is an honorable mention in the Lyttle Lytton "Worst Opening Lines to a (Fictional) Novel" contest. Besides writing, she loves reading, movies, music, women's history, and feminism.Follow her blog at https://lovecaution.wordpress.com.  
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