“Dirty Girls” Shows Teenage Girls Navigating A Murky High School Wasteland

I watched this 17-minute documentary called “Dirty Girls” and my heart fell out of my chest for these girls. Shot by then-high school senior Michael Lucia in 1996, the film investigates a group of 13-year-old girls with a reputation for being “dirty” –as in unwashed and unclean. The “Dirty Girl” crew is spearheaded by two sisters, Amanda and Harper, who just don’t give a fuck what other people think of them. The girls make a riot grrl zine that they distribute around school — and some of the worst criticism they get is (surprise, surprise) not from boys, but from other girls, many of whom appear to espouse an “alternative” aesthetic, too.

Man, high school.

Here’s the thing: These so-called “Dirty Girls” had a way more nuanced view of sexism, racism and homophobia than most people twice their age. Lucia finished filming the documentary more than ten years ago, and is now hoping to do a follow up film, catching up with Amanda, Harper and the rest of their “dirty” friends. Says Lucia, “I can tell you that all of the dirty girls are leading happy, healthy and creative adult lives, at least as far as I can tell from their Facebook photos.” We can’t wait to see what awesome things they’re doing now! [YouTube]

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