Top 10 John Waters Quotes

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John Waters is my favourite person ever!

He inspires me to be my true self flaws and all! Not only to be myself, but to accept others as well. It is my personal belief that as long as a person is not hurting anyone else, than let them be them, without judgement.

John Waters also has an incredible way of not only acknowledging the differences between humans, but celebrating them. Through his books and movies he shows a side of humanity that most people choose to ignore, or turn their nose up to – like “Lady Zorro”, a butch, lesbian stripper from Baltimore that would insult the audience (mentioned on page 132 of Role Models) – but in a way that doesn’t condemn or shame them, and I love that. His attitude towards life – relationships, art and fashion, and everything else – puts him at the top of my own role models list.

Here are a few things he’s said in books and magazine articles that I find admirable.

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10 Top John Waters Quotes

“We need to make books cool again. If you go home with somebody and they don’t have books, don’t fuck them.” (This Filthy World, 2007)

“’How could you think of such awful things?’ liberal critics always ask. ‘How else could I possibly amuse myself?’ I always wonder.” (Shock Value, 1981)

“Good bad taste is celebrating something without thinking you’re better than it… Bad bad taste is condescending, making fun of others.” (Rookie, 2012)

“Maybe it’s time that we use humor for political actions. If there’s a local politician against gay marriage, let’s send scary drag queens to his house to yell fashion insults at his wife.” (Outfest, 2012)

“I learned a long time ago, only an amateur answers his critics. Read the bad reviews once, the good ones twice, and put them all away and never look at them again.” (The Nervous Breakdown, 2011)

“I always say to kids, with fashion, that they shouldn’t be wearing designer clothing — they should copy it. Go to the thrift shop and buy the worst thing that the coolest kid in school would never wear. It’ll be the thing that’s the most ‘out.’ Buy it and turn it into something that’s funny and witty. Fashion is confidence. If you can get away with wearing it, it’s a new style.” (Rookie2012)

“To me, bad taste is what entertainment is all about. If someone vomits while watching one of my films, it’s like getting a standing ovation. But one must remember that there is such a thing as good bad taste and bad bad taste.” (Shock Value, 1981)

“You know, before I was paid to be a writer, people thought I was crazy to just go on these little missions of things that would interest me. But now that I get paid to do it, people say, ‘Oh how interesting.’ So, I think that’s really the difference between being a writer and a crackpot.” (DanteNet, 1986)

“Remember that a no is free. Ask for what you like, and get used to being turned down. Rejection is hard, but to get acceptance you have to put up with a lot of rejection. If you really like something, don’t ever think, Can I do this? If you think Can I?, you won’t. You have to say, ‘I’m gonna do this, and nobody’s gonna stop me!’ But you have to believe that, you can’t just say it. It might take really a long time, because people never say you’re good at first. Or if they do, you’re a flash in the pan and it’s over.” (Rookie, 2012)

“I’d never trust anyone who hadn’t spent at least one night of his youth in the local jail. The more hell you raise as a teen-ager, the sweeter your memories will be.” (Shock Value, 1981)

“You have to take some risks when you’re a kid to find out who you are. You just have to learn which risks are safe and which are self-destructive. Everybody does weird stuff. As you get older, I believe if you’ve never been allowed to do all that weird shit, then you make it into some kind of obsession that you’re too old to have!” (Rookie, 2012)

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Photo via NPR and Peace and Chaos

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