Frances Bean Cobain turns 19 years old today, making us all feel very old

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When Kurt Cobain took his own life in 1994, after the initial shock and sorrow faded away, what I was left with was a deep concern and sympathy for his baby daughter, Frances Bean, who was only a year old at the time. Not only would she grow up without a father in her life (and constantly be under the gloomy shadow that Cobain still casts over the music world at large), but she would be under the care of Courtney Love, who herself has proven to be rather unstable and erratic in her lifestyle and parenting choices (and having Michael Stipe and Drew Barrymore as godparents has to be quite a trip as well). Despite all of that, Frances is, incredibly, turning 19 years old today.

For the most part, Cobain has stayed out of the public spotlight as best she could, occasionally popping up in random photo spreads and interviews with Teen Vogue and Elle, as well as being in the midlle of the well-publicized custody battles between Love and her grandparents. She also served as an intern for Rolling Stone in 2008, a situation where it seemed that the struggling magazine was taking advantage of the Cobain name to serve their own selfish purposes and raise their declining reputation.

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​But now that she has approached the end of her teenage years, Frances is casting off her youthful restraint and discretion, and has recently appeared in two high-profile fashion spreads; one is a provocative spread for former Dior Homme designer Hedi Slimane, and the other is a more glamorous set of shots for photographer Rocky Schenck. The image of Cobain that emerges in these photographs is one of a young lady that is anxious to make her own mark on the world at large, yet also expresses an inherent edginess and angst within her that surely is a result of Frances' burdensome past.

Whatever direction she decides to take her life, I wish her only the best. I would hate for the poor decisions that both her parents have made in their own lives to prevent or hinder her from accomplishing any of the dreams she holds dear. I'm sure the somber specter of her father will linger around her for her entire life, and plenty of people will try and discredit or invalidate her accomplishments simply because of her last name. But hopefully she finds her own unique path, one that proves to be rewarding and fulfilling, and gives her life lasting meaning beyond being the daughter of two troubled songwriters. Happy 19th Birthday to you, Frances! May you celebrate many, many more.



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