Thanks to Metafilter, I found this cool short documentary shot in 1996 by Michael Lucid about a group of 13-year-old Riot Grrls trying to spread the message that society's expectations of the way women should act, dress, and groom themselves is Bullshit — and sexism, racism, and homophobia are not okay, on any level. Because of their self-expression, they earned the nickname "Dirty Girls" and the neverending scorn of most of their classmates ("That's the girl who didn't take a shower since Kurt Cobain died."), especially when they published their first zine.
It's a really fascinating peek into the world of teenage girls, and I recommend you watch it. Props to the one guy at the end who actually stands up for these girls by saying their zine is a brilliant, Marxist critque of the world — even though his friends are yelling at him that it's not. So great.
"The reason why people put so much negative energy towards us is to make themselves feel higher. And I totally believe that, because a lot of people — if they're popular or not popular — it doesn't matter. The reason why they put people down is to make themselves feel higher and give themselves more self-esteem, more self-power, more self-confidence. And that's SO dumb. To change somebody else, to make yourself different. The only way to change yourself is to change yourself."
I'd LOVE to see an update on these ladies now …
And VICE posted one a few days ago! YAY!