Personality Check: Your guide on how to be a cute gangster

Friday, 05 September 2008 13:51 Written by  Priya A. Shah

To find yourself there are many processes you have to go through. You have to define yourself, find your traits, your voice, your style, and your passions. I’m sure you know by now that it’s not easy. You’ve tried school or finished school— maybe you’re currently enrolled as an undergrad or you’ve already graduated.

 Maybe you decided that school ain’t for you and you now you’re a check-out girl at Walgreens. Oh I almost forgot, sorry boys but I didn’t write this for you. This is for the ladies. So unless you plan on changing your sex gender or something, I suggest you go get a copy of GQ magazine.

Ladies no matter what you do in this world, you still feel incomplete, right?  You probably had a hard time writing that five page college admissions paper on defining who you are and what you will be doing for the rest of your life. And now its a few years later, and you still haven’t figured out who you are. One summer you even went to Europe to find yourself, and did you? Well if you’re reading this, you probably didn’t.

You’ve tried law school, you’ve lived as a starving artist and you’ve done karaoke. You’ve checked out the retail world, and tried to write your first novel, you suck at sports, and don’t know how to cook. Well maybe it’s time to learn a different trait. You might be surprised when you to try a different look and maybe start to date a different kind of guy, and have different kinds of friends. Ladies, it’s time to be a gangster cutie.

This is something you must always remember: you wanna roll like a tough chick but also wanna look fabuuulous! There’s one thing that you must have with you at all times—lip gloss. You must never, and I mean NEVER leave your house without. Now don’t get confused with lip balm or lipstick, IT’S NOT THE SAME THING! Trust me on this.

And you shouldn’t just have one, every time you go to a grocery store, or the beauty supply store, or Wal-Mart, get at least three different kinds of lip glosses, and continue to collect them. It could be any three kinds of liquidly frosted, glittered or colored lip gloss you want, but avoid the sticky kinds, you don’t wanna get messy (personally, I say, pina colada LipShine shimmer glaze is yummy). Remember: if your lips ain’t glossed at all times, there could be a possibility that you ain’t cut out to be a cute gangster. Now let’s work on the rest of your appearance.

To be a cute gangster you must know how to dress like one. Of course when you hear the word gangster, you automatically assume to wear an oversized hoodie and baggy jeans with sneakers right? Well my homegirls, you’re only half right. Get rid of your overalls or anything that looks country, foreign and just plan old huge or wide. You should never, and I mean NEVER be too comfortable in your outfit. Trust me.

Remember: the key to cute gangster fashion is tight, tight and tight. This doesn’t mean you have walk around looking like a prostitute (that’s so cliché). Nothing should be oversized. If you’re gonna put on a hoodie, make sure it’s doesn’t go below your waistline; it has to hug your sides. Your jeans should give your butt a nice round shape and make it pop out. If you’re gonna go with sweatpants, make sure it’s good quality and again, make sure it’s not too big. Whatever you wear, it should be the perfect fit.

Also ladies, remember that name brands are important— you know something like Baby Phat. And never, I mean NEVER buy your sneakers at Payless. If you throw on some clean Nikes, you’re good to go (personally, I prefer Kangaroo shoes, it’s a little risky and outdated, but there still cute). Note: don’t forget your jewelry (hoop earrings and necklaces are an essential part to your appearance).

You have to have a legit hairstyle. It could be big and high, silky and smooth, long or short, braids or just a natural wave. But no matter what your choice is, remember that hair is a cute gangster’s best friend. Trust me. Ladies note that it doesn’t have to be real; many professional cute gangsters have weaves or hair extensions. (I personally prefer side bangs, something like the late singer Aaliyah or even Rihanna. It’s the style that covers half your eye. Now that’s cute.)

After you choose the hairstyle, you have to choose the right color. If you choose the wrong hair color or highlights, you’re screwed. You need something that blends in with your skin tone. If you have dark skin, get a touch of honey brown highlights. If your skin is light, you might want to go with something dark, but not too dark. And if you already have the right hair color, please don’t change it, you’re only asking for trouble if you do.

Here are some more tips to help your cute gangster image. Keep your nails nice and clean. No dirt under the nails please. If you can, have your nails done professionally every two weeks. Keep a purse with you at ALL TIMES—it’s where you will keep the majority of your lip glosses.

After you’re done creating your gangster image, you need a cute gangster name. Look in the mirror and let inspiration take over. Warning: if you end up naming yourself something like Mocha, just stick with your original name. What cute gangster is named Mocha? It sounds like a Starbucks drink. But if you must change your name and can’t think of a decent one, go with something like Caprice, Diamond or Pebbles. Just keep it simple.

Ladies we have to work on your language. First and foremost, never, and I mean NEVER say gangster, its pronounced gangsta. Come on, say it with me— gaanggsta. We really need to work on your vocabulary. Here are some words to get you’re terminology flowing in the right direction.

Wack (no, not like whacking someone over the head, it means weak. For example, "Her man is wack!"). Word (meaning you agree with something, or think something is cool). Foo (this is short for fool, just drop the L). And you have to know words like, homie, homeboy, homegirl, (they all pretty much mean friends). Get familiar with the word crib, (no, no, no, not like a crib for a baby, it means house or home. Have you ever watched MTV Cribs? Well it’s like that, only without the billion dollar mansion—unless that’s how you roll).

Okay, we’re almost at the finish line to cute gangster town. The only kind of music you can listen to is rap, hip hop and selected R&B. If you never heard Tupac Shakur, then that’s probably the first thing you should listen to. His music will especially help you with your language.

Next, listen to people like Biggie, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Eminem, 50 Cent, Usher, R-Kelly and Alicia Keys (I personally recommend Mariah Carey, her new album is off the heezzy fo sheezzy). Stay away from country music. Stay away from artist such as Miley Cycus, Elton John, and please, please, please stay the hell away from Britney Spears (she is so not a cute gangster).

Well congratulations, you made to the end. I hoped you learned something. Try it out. Being a cute gangster just might be for you. Throw around a few “yo mama” jokes (but be careful, you don’t wanna get your ass kicked. That’s so not cute). Always have nice looking hair and tight clothing, and don’t EVER run out of lip gloss. Be cute, act tough, and don’t be afraid to bitch slap someone. I’ve given you everything there is to know on how to be a cute gangster…the rest is up to you. Peace out my homegirls.


*Photo by GMO Photographer Billy Montgomery. Model: Robielle Foxx

Priya A. Shah

Priya A. Shah

Priya A. Shah lives in Chicago. She graduated from Columbia College Chicago in 2010, where she studied magazine journalism and fiction writing. She has been a staff writer for GMO since 2007. She’s written and interned for various media outlets such as India Tribune, Today's Chicago Woman, Tribune Media Services, GlossMagazineOnline and Echo (the student produced magazine for Columbia College Chicago). She’s contributed to A Fresh Squeeze (, an online publication for green living in Chicago, and her school newspaper, The Columbia Chronicle.

Priya can be reached at or