Kinderwhore was a clothing style worn by a handful of mostly female grunge bands in the US during the early to mid-1990s.

Courtney Love, who popularized kinderwhore, commented in 1994 that 'I would like to think—in my heart of hearts—that I'm changing some psychosexual aspects of rock music. Not that I'm so desirable. I didn't do the kinder-whore thing because I thought I was so hot. When I see the look used to make one more appealing, it pisses me off. When I started, it was a What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? thing. My angle was irony.'

The name 'Kinderwhore' was coined by melody maker journalist Everett True.


Kinderwhore fashion was designed to take the most feminine aspects of gender roles, inflating them to a cartoonish level, only to subvert it into the rawest, angriest, most badass way possible, where they were not afraid to get as aggressive and confident on stage as their male counterparts in the Grunge scene. Some elements of Kinderwhore fashion include

  • Peter pan collars.
  • Babydoll dresses.
  • Slips.
  • Mary Jane shoes.
  • Combat boots.
  • Platform shoes.
  • Ripped tights.
  • Red lipstick.
  • Messy makeup.
  • Messy Hair.
  • Hair Barrettes.
  • Soft, feminine colors and materials paired with dark colors
  • Tulle/Organza overlay dresses/shirts
  • Vintage Nightdresses
  • Black Accessories
  • Band Tees
  • Jackets
  • Kneesocks
  • Ripped Tights.
  • Heavy Boots with chunky soles
  • Gothic jewellery, chokers, chains, etc

Kinderwhore clothing can most easily be found in charity or thrift shops, or DIY'ed. the goal is not to look neat and tidy, so damaged clothing is better to use.

Fairy grunge is the name given to the style when the wearer doesn't seem as interested in subverting gender norms but instead just appreciates the aesthetic appeal of the contrast that Kinderwhore had set out to accomplish. Fairy grunge is used to make ones self look more appealing in the way that clashes with Kinderwhores philosophies, and therefore cannot be called Kinderwhore.

Kinderwhore by Madeleine kinderwhore/riotgrrrl by hans and manna kinderwhore by mushroomcloud kinderwhore by dakota


Musically, Kinderwhore fit right alongside their male counterparts in the Grunge scene, taking the world by storm in the 1990s. Some popular Kinderwhore bands and artists include:

  • Babes in Toyland
  • Bikini Kill
  • Bratmobile
  • Excuse 17
  • Fabulous Disaster
  • Go Betty Go
  • Hole
  • Jill Sobule
  • Le Tigre
  • Lunachicks
  • The Dollyrots
  • The Muffs


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