Being Bad Never Looked This Good
Q&A with Shelly Ray Hickman from the Bad Girls Club.
Photo by: Ryan Cain
She may have fought, she was definitely vocal and she may have played a little dirty, but The Bad Girls Club's Shelly Hickman stood up for what she believed in and was vocal and proud about being a lesbian. Tha's because Hickman, our Bad Girl favorite, is a bad girl with a big heart and a passion to help others by giving them a voice. Hickman share's her definition of what makes a Bad Girl, her thoughts on Don't Ask Don't Tell [Hickman's girlfriend is currently in the military service], how she joined the cast of The Bad Girls Club and the story behind how she found her voice to stand up for her rights.
How did you hear about the auditions for the Bad Girls Club?
They called me. I was auditioning for The Real World and I didn't make it, and so they called me for season six [of Bad Girls Club] and I said no because I wasn't in a good place in my life. And they called me for seven and I was like I better because I kicked myself in the ass for not doing it last time. Within two months we were filming. Within two months I was in the house. We did a Skype interview and then they flew me to L.A. and then I made it.
What makes someone a “bad girl”?
If it was about who started fights or who yelled, who bitched and complained, every girl would be considered a bad girl because every girl can scream and yell, but it really comes from the inside more than it does the outside. It’s [about] sticking up for what you believe in. Having the strength to do that these days I think is what makes somebody badass.
What did you took away from being on the cast of the Bad Girls Club?
Don't trust people [Laughs]. Any doubts that I had in human beings it was solidified by leaving. It's hard being put in a house knowing that you're stuck living with them and knowing that you're probably not going to like them because they're [Bad Girls Club casting] very good at who they pick. They know exactly what they're doing. When I walked in that house I was like, 'Oh the first day, I better enjoy this' and then later that night I was like, 'Well, that didn't last long. I've only been here for 4 hours.' It's just insane, and to know that you signed up for that yourself. You did it yourself. You're there because you wanted to be there. It's kind of like, what the hell was I thinking? But I would not have changed it for the world and I would do it all over again. If I had the option, I would still do it.
How has life been post Bad Girls Club?
Life has been so crazy after. The whole privacy thing — it's not really existent. I didn't expect it to be so overwhelming. I got a little overwhelmed at the beginning. I was scared to leave my house. [Laughs]
What have you been doing since the show ended?
I've been traveling a lot lately. I actually signed with an agent a lot later than the other girls did because I wanted to make sure that everything at home was good before I took on this huge adventure. I wanted to make sure I found myself before I went out and tried to be Shelly from Bad Girls Club because when everything is not good at home, nothing is going to be good somewhere else. So I made sure everything was good at home and then searched for a couple of people and met Aundrea, my agent. I'm so lucky to have her. She's so awesome. She said, 'Everything happens for a reason.' And that's my favorite quote. I even have it tattooed on me. And I was like, you know what, we have the same beliefs. I was so comfortable signing with her. Since then, I've been so busy.
What is it like having fans?
Some people, they get fans and they get these big heads thinking, 'Oh, these people owe me something.' And I think that's really gross. They soak it up, but yet they don't give back. They will stop giving if you do not give back. And the whole thing is that the Bad Girls Club would be nothing without those fans. So not answering them on Twitter—me just tweeting or re-tweeting somebody makes somebody's day. If you have the power to make somebody's day, why would you not do it? Why would you not? And I just believe in being appreciative of what's been given to you because when you quit appreciating things you lose the value in small things and once you lose the value in small things you'll lose all your value in the big things.
One of your fans told you on Twitter, You give me motivation and strength to stand up for gay people in my country, even if it means loosing some 'friends'. How awesome is that?
It makes my day. It really does let me know that everything I do, no matter how small it is makes a difference. That something positive came out of a show called Bad Girls Club, and I like that. I like that I was able to get positivity out of the negative vibe you get from watching that show. You know, people are waiting for people to get their ass whooped, and for me to be able to give somebody hope — It makes my day. It let's me know that I am appreciated just as much as they're appreciated and not for being on a TV show, but for genuinely being myself.
As a Bad Girl, you seem really passionate about helping others.
There's nothing more rewarding than putting a smile on somebody's face. I guess I just have been through so much, and missed so much and wanted so much out of people that the things that people never gave to me, I want to give to them. Because I know how good that makes me feel and how good it would have been for me to have that I make sure that everybody always has it, all the time. My friends know that if anything is wrong they can run to me and I'll drop everything. Anybody in my life who really knows me knows that they can always count on me no matter how busy I am or anything. Being a good person I think is the best feeling in the world.