90's rebels Thelma and Louise, Getty Images.
10 BEST POP CULTURE REBELS
It’s been 60 years since we lost James Dean, the original rebel without a cause. To mark the occasion, we count through ten of our favourite rebels from pop culture history.
10. JANE EYRE
In Charlotte Brontë’s novel, Jane is our ahead-of-her-time protagonist, who rebels against her environment, struggling with the oppressive rules and mores of her time. A proto-feminist, if ever there was one.
9. KATNISS EVERDEEN
In taking the place of her sister Prim representing District 12 in theHunger Games, Katniss puts herself in danger and fights against the system that stifles her. But with Peeta at her side, Katniss, played by Jennifer Lawrence, can overcome any challenge.
8. THELMA AND LOUISE
In Thelma and Louise, Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon run away from their problems in a 1966 Thunderbird with murderous results. The pair became icons for their refusal to play by the rules, and the rebellious film was a success.
7. BOB MARLEY
The Jamaican reggae king was a star on his own terms, integrating his Rastafarian beliefs into his performing career. And the crowd loved it – today, Marley’s music has sold over 75 million copies and has a lasting impact on suffering people around the world.
6. JOHN WATERS
The controversial director responsible for cult films like Pink Flamingos and Polyester is one of pop culture’s favourite provocateurs, regularly breaking the boundaries of good taste and art in his multifaceted art.
Some might say that an American teenage girl isn’t the best fit for a vampire-slaying superhero. But they haven’t met Buffy Summers! Played by Sarah Michelle Gellar, she uses her brains and superhuman strength to outwit the paranormal bad guys in Sunnydale.
4. COURTNEY LOVE
Rock loves its outspoken heroes, but usually they’re guitar-slinging guys and not girls in lipstick and floral dresses. Courtney Love provided the ideal for the 1990's rock queen, and her subversive style and bleach blonde hair have made her a style icon, too.
3. JOHN & YOKO
John Lennon and Yoko Ono became the defining boho couple of the late 1960s, and the couple collaborated on their ‘Bed-ins’, non-violent protests in which the couple would remain in bed for days on end.
2. MILEY CYRUS
2013 saw Miley shake off her child-star image with a new album and a radical reinvention. Twerking on stage with Robin Thicke at the VMAs and a daring video for Wrecking Ball ensured that Miley’s reputation now is anything but spotless.
With her controversial lyrics, sexy costumes and racy videos, Madonna’s early career was grounded in transgression and breaking the rules. 30 years on, she’s still pushing boundaries with constant reinvention and a never-ending stream of hits.