How to Be a Punk Girl

Three Parts:Adopting a Punk Lifestyle and AttitudeFinding Your Punk StyleExperimenting with Punk Hair and Makeup

Punk is not just a music genre, it is an alternative way of life. In their effort to discover their authentic self, punk girls forge their own paths and develop their own unique sense of style. Punk girls are unapologetically independent, bold, and self-assured. They listen to stellar music and question society. They wear whatever expresses their personal aesthetic. To become a punk girl, you must be confident in your identity.

Part 1
Adopting a Punk Lifestyle and Attitude

  1. Image titled Be a Scene Girl Step 29
    Listen to punk music. Music is an essential component of the punk lifestyle. Your playlists should include music by classic punk artists, such as The Sex Pistols and the Ramones, legendary female punk rockers, such as Bikini Kill, and new punk groups, like Tacocat. [1] In addition to listening to the music at home or about town, you should also pay homage to the roots of the movement by making an effort to experience punk music live.[2]
  2. Image titled Become a Translator Step 5
    Make your own ‘zine. Since the advent of the punk movement in the 1970s, punk rockers have expressed themselves through self-made magazines, or ‘zines.[3] In the 1990s, punk girls used zines to create a space for their voice within the punk movement. Collaborate with your female punk friends to develop a ‘zine that expresses your collective views and interests.
    • Make your zines by deconstructing mainstream magazines and repurposing the pieces.
    • There are no set rules or limitations when it comes to the content of ‘zines. They are meant to look DIY. You can self-publish any material you wish.[4]
    • If you are looking for inspiration, check out Sniffin' Glue and Riot Grrl.[5]
  3. Image titled Become a Goddess Step 1
    Embrace your punk self. If you identify as a punk girl, don’t buckle under the pressure to conform to society’s standards of appropriate female behavior. Instead of oppressing your identity, proudly present the truest version of yourself to the world. Don’t apologize for who you are or what you believe.[6]
  4. Image titled Be Emo Step 9
    Don’t do what you should do; do what you want to do. As a punk girl, you are entitled to forge your own path in life. Develop your own timeline. Set your own goals and establish your own standards. Enjoy life and to do what feels good in the moment.[7]
    • Your personal standards inform how you treat others and how you expect others to treat you. When you define and set standards for yourself, you rest control of your actions from society. Begin by evaluating your current standards: what standards currently inform your actions; did you set these standards for yourself? Next, allow your punk attitude to inform the evolution of your goals and expectations: what standards will you continue to accept; what standards contradict your beliefs?[8]
  5. Image titled Be a Punk Rock Girl Step 9
    Challenge social conventions. Punk rockers refuse to blindly accept social norms. As a punk girl, constantly question the conventions that dictate society for yourself.[9] It is in your self-interest to examine capitalism, evaluate the government, analyze religion, explore patriotism, and study globalism.[10] As you reach your own conclusions, let your discoveries shape your agenda and share your opinions freely.[11]
    • You can learn about these topics in a traditional classroom, especially in women's and gender studies course that value intersectionality and multi-disciplinary approaches. You may also oversee your own education on these topics. Ask friends, teachers, and mentors for suggested readings and documentaries on a variety of topics.

Part 2
Finding Your Punk Style

  1. Image titled Be Grunge Step 7
    Gather an eclectic wardrobe. Punk clothing defies categorization. This difficult to define eclectic style look is characterized by DIY pieces, grunge elements, and edgy items bordering on goth. Mix and match a variety of pieces until you discover your signature punk look.
    • Punk rockers are DIY-ers. If you don’t possess the skills to make your own clothing, attempt to repurpose items in your wardrobe to create a unique look. You could add studs to an old jean jacket or spikes to your shirt collars.[12]
    • Experiment with grunge. To add elements of grunge to your wardrobe, try layering loose articles of clothing and wrapping a flannel shirt around your waist.[13]
    • Incorporate edgy and goth items into your wardrobe. Purchase leather or faux-leather skirts, pants, and jackets. Bring in the goth element by pairing simple black pieces with edgy accessories.[14]
    • For a classic punk look, considering mixing plaid with rocker inspired clothing, like old band tees.[15]
  2. Image titled Be Punk Pop Step 5
    Experiment with different punk styles. Since the 1970s, punk fashion has continued to evolve. As a result, punk fashion varies widely. At its roots, punk fashion is always edgy and anti-materialistic. Sub-genres include glam and pop punk:
    • Glam punk, maintains the foundations of punk fashion, while incorporating bright colors, spandex, leather, the occasional leopard print.
    • Pop punk also is rooted in traditional punk values, but is characterized by skinny jeans, leather jackets, and band tees.[16]
  3. Image titled Wear Ankle Boots Step 5Bullet3
    Wear classic punk shoes. Shoes can make or break a punk outfit. Invest in the following classic and stylish punk shoes:
    • Dr Martens[17]
    • Combat Boots[18]
    • Black ankle boots[19]
    • Converse (high or low tops)
  4. Image titled Dress Metal (Girls) Step 6
    Accessorize your punk look. Punk accessories can range from outrageously edgy and dangerous-looking to simple and rocker-chic. Acquire spiked accessories, such as jewelry, headbands, and purses.[20] Purchase simple pieces of jewelry, such as chain necklaces, cuffs, and, stud earrings, that you can layer and mix in a variety of ways.Common accessories include:[21]
    • Skull rings, earrings, and necklaces
    • Spike earrings
    • Choker and collar necklaces[22]

Part 3
Experimenting with Punk Hair and Makeup

  1. Image titled Do Cute Punk Makeup (Girls) Step 1
    Try a daring new hair color. Punk girls can rock bold hair colors. There are several ways for you to add color to your locks:
    • Dye your entire head of hair a fiery red, outrageous orange, or lovely lavender color.
    • Add streaks and pops of color to your locks. Try a hot pink streak or cheetah spots.[23]
  2. Image titled Get Emo Hair Step 4
    Test out different edgy dos. Punk girls define their own style. They don’t follow fashion trends and they don’t copy other punk girls. As a result, there is not a universal punk hairstyle. You can choose to wear your hair in a mohawk or shave one side of your head. You can decide to cut your hair into piecey, disconnected layers or rock a blunt bob. You have the option to leave your hair intentionally unkempt, in dreads, or styled to perfection.[24]
  3. Image titled Do Cute Punk Makeup (Girls) Step 5
    Apply bold and colorful makeup. Punk girls complete their looks with vibrant eye makeup and colorful lipstick.
    • Always wear eyeliner. You can choose to apply the traditional black liner or a bright color, like blue, green, or purple.[25]
    • Apply eyeshadow. Draw attention to your eyes with a generous amount of colorful or black eyeshadow.[26]
    • Wear bold lipstick. Punk girls don’t shy away from non-traditional makeup. Dare to wear black, green, violet, or blue lipstick.[27]


  • Everything on this list is optional. Being punk is really just about being yourself and expressing yourself, and if that you and that persona is "punk," you're a punk! Don't feel obligated to do anything that isn't you - not being true to yourself is the least punk thing you can do!


  • If you are going to wear band shirts, be sure you know who the band is.
  • Some people don't like punks, but don't worry about them. Just be yourself.
  • Don't go on the internet and brag "I'm Punk!” You will be labeled a poser.

Sources and Citations

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Categories: Punk