Bad Girl Style Icons: Reform School Girls


LADIES AND GENTS, let us talk about one of the campiest women-in-prison movies, 1986′s Reform School Girls. It has some similarities to the previously discussed Switchblade Sisters, particularly since our heroine is another fair-haired, good girl-gone bad who has to fend for herself amongst a group of merciless teenage cholitas. However, the characters are way more over-the-top in an almost John Waters vibe and spout hilarious insults such as “You’re just a shit-stain on the panties of life!” How can you not be in love?

Reform School Girls

Reform School Girls

Good girl Jenny finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time when her boyf decides to rob a bank while she is waiting for him in the car. She is then sentenced to a high-security ladies prison run by a dominatrix-like warden and her corrupt staff.

Reform School Girls

Reform School Girls

Pat Ast who was part of Warhol’s Factory crew in real life, plays the evil Edna who makes the best rubberfaces in the movie. After checking in Jenny and a couple of other nice girl convicts, she leads them right into an American Apparel ad.

Reform School Girls

Reform School Girls

Clearly this is the scene where we can admire the style of these bad girls. Lots of Vanity 6 lace, leather g-strings, stacked bracelets, big metal band hair, leopard print, cigarettes and combat boots.

Reform School Girls

Reform School Girls

Soon into her stay at Pridemore Juvenile Facility for Girls, Jenny goes head2head with the most feared of cholas: Charlie, played by “Queen of Punk” Wendy O. Williams (in true Andrea Zuckerman fashion as she was pushing 40 years old at the time.)

Reform School Girls

But Jenny ain’t gonna take shit from NOBODY and they start to ladyrumble.

Reform School Girls

Reform School Girls

Reform School Girls

At some point the ladies put their differences aside and band together to form a rebellion against the evil Edna.

Reform School Girls

Reform School Girls

Wendy O. Williams in the scene Gaga emulates in any way she can. SHE WAS SO FUCKING BADASS.

Reform School Girls

Unfortunately the reality of female prisons do not include lingerie parades and punk rock hairdos. Continuing with the WIP theme I also watched Beyond Scared Straight, a show that brings troubled teens to maximum security prisons with the purpose of scaring them out of their juvenile delinquency.


There were two particular female prisoners named “Green Eyes” and “Diabla” in the prison that were so FUCKING SCARY, I know if I were one of these teenage hoodrats I’d never want to do anything bad ever again! Just watching that show even SCARED ME STRAIGHT! I also cried a million times during the episode especially when one of the girls saw her own freakin’ mom in there! Her mom was on her knees BEGGING her daughter not to turn out like her! OMG I am getting the teary-eyed chills just thinking about it again.


Even though I am scared shitless of them, I kind of want to meet Green Eyes and Diabla. NOT AS A PRISONER MYSELF of course. Maybe I will write them a letter. JUST KIDDING I’M TOO SCARED.


1 Mace Elaine { 01.21.11 at 1:27 pm }

“After checking in Jenny and a couple of other nice girl convicts, she leads them right into an American Apparel ad.”

I love you, Marie.

2 Eli { 01.21.11 at 5:43 pm }

I love how this post started out about the movie then moves into a totally different direction with these freaky ass prison ladies! Scared ME straight. Reminds me of walking home from school and trying to not make eye contact with the cholas.

3 melina bee { 01.21.11 at 8:33 pm }

damn you marie, I read this then had to find out if the show was on ae’s website (it was) so that I could procrastinate… Although scary as hell, Diabla, Green Eyes and some of the other prisoners struck me as rather sensitive to the girls during their one on one sessions. Not saying I want to have a one on one session with any of them…

4 marie { 01.21.11 at 8:41 pm }

HAHAHA I know so random!! But I had to talk about Diabla somehow!!

5 marie { 01.21.11 at 8:41 pm }

lawl it’s what i first thought of when i saw that scene! LOVE U & MISS U mace <3

6 Elza { 01.21.11 at 9:02 pm }

Next time Chloe and I are in LA, can we have a slumber party? sans the slumber.
love love

7 marie { 01.21.11 at 11:19 pm }

OMG HELL YES!! Can’t wait to see you both!!!! <3 <3 <3

8 defekto { 01.22.11 at 8:16 am }

Love the part when the one girl reads the letter she wrote to a prisoner, “Tell Diabla I said “hi”.”

9 Cheryll { 01.22.11 at 8:30 am }

Get out of my head! I was watching this and going, “Ooh! This ain’t at all what it was like in Reform School Girls!” – No, thank you!

10 maggie battles { 01.22.11 at 6:43 pm }

holy shizballz, any movie with wendy o. williams is a flick i gotta see! i still wanna catch ‘beyond scared straight.’ i know a lotta bitches that should be on that show! ooooh!

11 lo { 01.22.11 at 11:39 pm }

Watching Beyond Scared Straight made me so scared I flossed my teeth, cleaned my room and made my bed the next morning. The mom had me bawling too!

12 Marlove { 01.24.11 at 9:29 am }

Gurl I knew you was tha one the lawd chose!! Good Stuff!

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