Triumphal Bad Girl Songs!

Song post! Which may or may not get views, but will make me happy to put together.

Not in a lot of movies, but in a few movies there is a moment when the bad girl fully embraces her “bad” nature and we get a triumphal song sequence as she celebrates that. I LOVE those songs! They aren’t about her being sexualized for the male gaze, or trying to use her body to get something, they are entirely about her just being her and being happy. If anything, the people around her are trying to stop her from dancing and she is just keeping going.

Lajja has one of the most explicit of these, our “good girl in bad circumstances” heroine Manisha Koirala is feeling bad about herself, and our “bad girl who has accepted her identity as bad” Madhuri says she will cheer her up by showing her just how powerful being a woman can be. “Badi Mushkil”

Then there’s Tashan. Our “straight up bad girl and owning it” Kareena has just tricked and conned and run off with a suitcase of money, and celebrates the freedom of living outside of social rules. “Chaaliya”

Katrina, cheerfully being sexual and joyful and “bad”, despite her boyfriend trying to stop her. “Sheila Ki Jawani”

Alia in Student of the Year in a totally delightful song, when she gives up on being the perfect little girlfriend and embraces her anger and pride. “Radha”

One of my all time favorite heroine introduction songs, Tanisha in Neal ‘n Nikki singing about how she is a “bad girl”, but she still wants love. “Halla Re”

Another heroine who is introduced as already “bad”, Aish in Dhoom 2! We see her as a cat burglar, and then straight into doing a confident sexual dance at a bar.

Don’t like the movie, but I adore “Heer Badnam” from Zero. Such a great song of “this is who I am, this is my life, good and bad”.

And ending with Madhuri! Rajkumari, she chooses to put on enchanted bangles so she can do a sexy dance for/with the man she loves. No more saintly princess!

What are your favorite songs I forgot? Those moments when the heroine is just “I’m here, I’m bad, and that makes me happy”?


14 thoughts on “Triumphal Bad Girl Songs!

  1. `
    I can’t remember the movie; I can’t remember the song — but two girl-pals street poor zip around and crash some fancy stores and try on fancy clothes, and get chased out. Or something like that. I really like it, but I can’t remember anything more! Any idea?



      • I watched Saala Khadoos but don’t remember those scenes from shops. Is this song present in tamil version of the movie? I remember the beginning of the song, when the sisters show the money to Dhanush’s big poster, but all he rest is new to me.


        • Really? I definitely saw it in theaters, but maybe I saw the Hindi version? How odd, if it is in one but not the other.

          On Tue, Mar 3, 2020 at 3:28 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



          • I checked and I was right. Tamil version of the song is diffrent. It starts like the hindi version, with the money and Dhanush’s poster but the girls dance only in their neighborhood, don’t visit shops and in the end buy biryani for the family.


          • How interesting! I wonder why? I love the Hindi version.

            On Wed, Mar 4, 2020 at 8:15 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  2. OK new question: how much is the bad girl character used in movies as an excuse to put sexy actresses onscreen in skimpy clothing? Because Kareena and Aish and Kat all look spectacular (could have included Kamli too, Kat has a lot of these songs) but it also seems convenient that their characters happen to be into dancing suggestively while showing lots of bare skin.


    • Good point! But I think it’s about context. All of these songs have real characters in them who get to do real things and are treated respectfully by the movie, but there are other movies where the bad girl really is just there for one song and to be sexy. And the songs end up feeling empowering for me, not just sexy. Although also sexy.

      On Tue, Mar 3, 2020 at 11:18 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  3. Radha is such an amazing moment and song sequence. I’m not sure if mine fit, but here’s my contributions:
    Aithey Aa – Bharat
    Punjabi Wedding Song – Hasee Toh Phasee
    Twist Kamariya – Bareilly Ki Barfi
    Radha – JHMS
    Balam Pichkari – YJHD


    • Radha and Balam Pichkari were two I considered for this! That moment of shaking off the shackles of “good girl” and becoming “bad”. Definitely a post in that, or at least yet another JHMS post specifically about how that film treats the concept of “bad girl” versus “good girl”.

      On Mon, Mar 9, 2020 at 4:13 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



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