Taylor Momsen chatted with NOTW about her style: ‘Clothes are a form of self-expression. I don’t care what other people think. I’ve had lots of people say I’m disgraceful because I should act like a role model for other young kids but I’m not a role model. I’m an actress, I’m a singer and I don’t want to be a role model. If you like me that’s fantastic, but if you don’t, stop giving me a hard time.‘
I’ve always been into my own look and love what I wear. I’m not like a lot of other actresses. I don’t use a stylist and mostly do my own hair and make-up. When I get dressed up I always wear what I want to. Fashion is a big part of me but I always believe it’s not what but how you wear clothes. I’m not some cute girl that’s been stamped out of a Disney studio and I’m proud of that. Some people like me for it, others hate it. I’m used to that. I’ve had it all my life.
I didn’t have a great childhood. I loved my family, I loved my work but I hated school. I had a really bad time. Other kids didn’t like me. I didn’t fit in. Maybe a lot of people think I have a great life. I do in lots of ways, but believe me it’s been pretty tough. I know a lot of girls couldn’t handle everything I’ve been through. The way I am in my attitude, my clothes, my music is all to do with what has happened to me in my life so far. I do what I choose, I wear what I choose, I sing what I choose and I don’t care what anyone else thinks. I’ve had to learn to get tough enough to be like this but it’s the way I have to be.
I was made fun of all the time, the other kids used to taunt me religiously. I never had a best friend. My life was just not normal. I was in commercials, I was in TV series, then I was the Grinch Girl. I dressed differently. I definitely wasn’t a fashion icon at school. I used to always wear knee-high socks and I got teased all the time. Girls would point at them and laugh. It makes me laugh now that one of my fashion statements are my knee-high stockings. Now a lot of girls think they are pretty cool. You have to admit that’s ironic.
I really wanted a friend but it just never happened. I didn’t get talked to or invited anywhere. I never got hit or anything like that. It was much more snidey and personal. I also never got asked out once at school. I was the weird one. Maybe people thought I was stuck up, maybe they thought I was above them. I wasn’t. I was very, very unhappy at school so I moved schools a lot which didn’t help matters. I guess my parents and I thought that I’d finally find somewhere where I’d be OK. But it was the same story.
On transforming Jenny Humphrey into a rock chick: ‘I started dressing myself for events. The producers noticed and wanted to incorporate that into Jenny’s wardrobe, so I was very lucky. Now if someone doesn’t like what I’m wearing, I don’t care.. There are a few occasions when she raises her eyebrows but she never tells me to get changed.. I love people like Joan Jett and Kurt Cobain. But what I love is more about their attitude than what they wear.
I don’t copy anyone in how I dress. It bugs me when people say I’m the next Courtney Love. Number one I’ve never been a heroin addict like she used to be, and number two I don’t look anything like her.. I’m so amazingly lucky because I get to go to fashion shows, I have designers giving me clothes and I can pick what I want. But I mix everything up to put my mark on it. If a designer gives me a dress I may hem it up to make it shorter, I’ll make it how I want it. I’m 16, I have an opinion and I think I can go out and do what I want and wear what I want. I want to inspire other girls to follow their own ideas and not care what other people think.
I don’t dress for men, I don’t dress for boys, I don’t dress for women or other girls. I dress for me.. I don’t know how I’ll be dressing when I’m 20 or 30, but I know it’ll be my style and it won’t be boring. I absolutely love fashion because it reflects who you are. When I was a kid I always used to think: ‘What would I save if my house was on fire?’ Even now it would have to be my rag doll, but it would also be my guitar and my vintage leather jacket.’