Shirley Manson Is My Homegirl

Decades after Garbage’s relevancy, I still have to say that Shirley Manson is one of the most inspiring women to have graced the pop culture lexicon, both visually and verbally. While many alt-rock lead singers of the 90s have been credited with the bad girl, I-don’t-give-a-fuck image (Courtney Love being the most obvious at the forefront of choices), it was Manson who knew the true agonies of depression and self-mutilation, as evidenced not only by Garbage’s hurt me more lyrics, but also by the fact that Manson used to carry a knife with her in school so she could cut herself whenever the fancy struck her.

The more makeup, the farther from God
The more makeup, the farther from God
After suffering through a bout of body dysmorphia in her youth, Manson seemed to find her niche as a truant, fucking shit up in Edinburgh by shoplifting, huffing glue and breaking into the zoo. She eventually gravitated toward the club scene, finding her way to the band Goodbye Mr. Mackenzie. This led to her brief performance in a band called Angelfish, which had a mildly successful single called, “Suffocate Me” that aired on MTV’s 120 Minutes. Steve Marker, the guitarist for Garbage, caught the show and asked Manson to join the band. The rest is, clearly, music history.

To the surprise of many, Garbage’s debut sold four million copies, capitalizing on a cultural environment that prided itself on embracing misery. Even their sophomore album, Version 2.0, sustained the same level of sales, proving that the band was more than just an alt-rock one-off. While the band’s spotlight may have dimmed slightly in recent years, Manson forever remains a goddess of grunge.

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