Having the power to kill a man with one wrist motion, or rocking a leather jacket with retro patches on it might indeed classify you as a badass but recently the criteria for what makes you a “badass” has had a shift in perspective. Although the Dirty Harrys, Rambos or Sid Vicious types are still quite cool we are now placing the spotlight on badasses like Ellen Degenerous, Malala Yousafzai, Daniel Radcliffe, Will Smith and Lupita Nyong’o, who at first glance may not seem like your traditional definition of a “badass” but in one way or another express a level of empathy, humility and individuality that would claim otherwise. Here’s how you can identify with this prestigious title:

1. You give no fucks: whether it’s self expression, a sailors vocabulary, or speaking your mind-you give no fucks and do not hesitate to do so. It’s not about being impulsive as much as it is about being who you are or who you’d like to be without hindering yourself for the sake of acceptance. You act upon the urge to sporadically sing and shout in a public restaurant without an ounce of shame. You listen to the music you love, on blast, in your car for all the world to hear despite how cheesy it may sound to others.
2. You wear what you want: fashion is comfort and in recent years that has become all the more clear. You were born into this strange world naked, which means-other than weather conditions-there isn’t much reason to substantiate a need to wear clothes, so why not do it for comfort and self expression? You, 21st century man/woman do not hesitate to try on something different, something that raises the bar. You are a trend setter in your own rite. You enjoy the world fixing their eyes on what you have so eloquently put together but that’s just an added bonus, the real motive is YOU.  You dress to satisfy yourself and the inner craving to express yourself. You are the master of your own visual identity.

3. You are immune to Dogma: you do not adhere to a set of rules or blindly follow any institution merely on its promises or bargain,  no matter how appealing the pitch may be. You are a believer or a non-believer of any respective argument solely on the basis of understanding and self retrospect. You believe because you believe. You recognize the external and internal influences and judge according through gained perspective. You are a master of no one and no one is a master of you. You do not inflict opinions but present them and you do not swallow any doctrine but try and understand it.

4. You stand up for what’s right: looking back at the past reminds us of how ignorant and wrong we’ve been, but we as a society can always strive to learn from our mistakes and right our wrongs. One lesson we’ve learned is to stand up for what’s right. You do not fall in the clutches of group-thought or peer pressure but tread through the often desolate path of free thought and empathy. You see a poor soul being harassed, harmed or abused, you do not hesitate to intervene. Perhaps you’re not gay but empathize with falling in love and caring for another individual wholeheartedly and feel adamant about others sharing that experience with total freedom despite the opposition and perhaps subsequently vote to support that freedom. You are a caring individual with a big heart and it takes a badass like you to have the courage to speak or take action for what’s right before the world.
5. You are comfortable with femininity: whether you are a male or female you do not fret at the site of a woman as a leader. You do not agree with the British tax on female hygiene products. You recognize and embrace the unique nature that generally defines a woman and find it socially acceptable without hindrance. You do not shy away from female sexuality but are completely aware of it. Woman like to fuck too! (Although some woman would refuse to admit that for the sake of reputation). A woman’s intellect and caring nature is essential to our society and you approve.

6. You raise the bar: life’s too big and too vast with all its endless possibilities to settle for mediocrity. Which is why you love raising the bar. You refuse to follow. Instead, you lead others into worlds unseen and treasures unearthed. You push the envelope because it’s in you to strive for better. You do not shoot for the moon because you know if you shoot for the stars, the end result will be much greater.

7.  You aspire to be yourself despite the status quo: you are a badass because you are an individual and you recognize yourself as such. You love yourself, not with an egotistical air but with humility and dignity. You are aware that there is not a single replica of you and you cherish this fact and use it to your advantage. You are comfortable in your own skin and recognize that in the end all that truly matters is what you think of yourself.

So look at yourself and be proud of the 21st century badass that you are. We have a road paved ahead of us but we’ve come a long way. Don’t concern yourself with what other people think, express yourself and wear what your heart desires, do not follow the blind blindly, don’t think twice when standing up for what is just, femininity is beautiful and it is a part of our world; encourage it, reach for the stars and don’t stop there, but most importantly be yourself and if one day you are inclined too; buy that leather jacket. Leather jackets are cool as fuck!

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