20 Debbie Harry Quotes on Being a Creative Woman and Challenging the Status Quo

Happy birthday to Blondie frontwoman, new wave/punk icon, and actress Debbie Harry. The singer helped women in music make strides thanks to her chart-topping singles and outspoken interviews. To celebrate the star, we gathered some of Harry’s best quotes about women. “Girl power” is an overused term, but Harry embodies the concept as a strong, creative woman in a field dominated by men, making her an invaluable and inspiring pop culture figure.

“The only person I really believe in is me.”

“The only place left for rock to go is toward more girl stars. There’s nothing left for men to do. There’s bound to be more male stars, but they can’t express anything new.”

“I have a lot of regrets, but I’m not going to think of them as regrets.”

“I love the ACLU and I’m concerned now, especially when it comes to our rights, with current politics and the religious community and the Conservative majority or minority – I don’t know who they are.”

“The word ‘iconic’ is used too frequently — an icon is a statue carved in wood. It was shocking at first, when I got that reference. It was a responsibility, and it’s impossible to live up to – you’re supposed to be dead, for one thing.”

“I feel like I have to have a voice.”

“I thought I’d live to a ripe old age, because I always felt there was a lot to do. I had a driven feeling. I always thought in the present.”

“How can one be a woman and not be a feminist? That’s my question.”

“I don’t take anything for granted. It’s now 40 years since we formed Blondie and every gig is special.”

“‘I certainly wasn’t the first female singer to have an attitude and do my own thing. But there was definitely a shift around the time of punk and I was part of that shift.”

“I’d grown up with a fascination for movie stars like Bardot and Monroe, whose sexuality wasn’t manufactured in any way. That naturalness was appealing to me. And it worked. Even at the time I could see that the way I looked was crucial to the appeal of Blondie.”

“I think Miley [Cyrus] probably started out with a very, very young audience and she was an easy pill to swallow. Then suddenly she became this completely sexual being and unsettled a lot of people. But these women are strong and ambitious. They have something to say. They’re willing to challenge conformity. They’ll learn what I had to learn – that you need to risk some sort of emotional exposure and embarrassment if you put yourself on the line.”

“Maybe fear gives us fortitude. Maybe pain forces us to change our lives in some way. But it’s never easy.”

“My biggest dream as a kid was to carve out a niche for myself in some interesting, creative way.”

On Madonna: “There was a switch in music, and I think it may have been primarily with her. She really went to showbiz. She was a solo artist; she wasn’t in a band; she wasn’t representing anyone but herself. And she did very well.”

“You have to look around, keep new influences coming in. A lot of people sort of pick a world to live in, and they’re comfortable in that – which can be disastrous.”

“I was one of those idiots who thought they were going to live forever.”

“On my humble side, I feel like I’m an idea whose time had come, that it was inevitable. On my egotistical side, I know how stubborn and how committed I was to presenting an image—because I come from a time when women were less outspoken, and they had to follow along and not be as individual.”

“I wish I had invented sex.”

“Nowadays the girls have proven themselves as entertainers, musicians, and writers. There are so many great female artists. Now it’s become standard. It’s no longer a boys club. Times do change.”