The Real-Life Cady Heron Who Grew Up In Africa Was The Coolest Kid Alive
Growing up in the African bush, Tippi Benjamine Okanti Degré napped with lions, rode elephants, and was generally all-around awesome.
Meet Tippi Benjamine Okanti Degré. She's the daughter of French wildlife photographers and filmmakers Sylvie Robert and Alain Degré.
Tippi is basically a younger version of Cady from Mean Girls, as she spent her earliest years growing up in Africa.
Cady-née-Tippi was born in Namibia in 1990, and traveled with her parents through countries like Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa, frequently listening to her favorite band, Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
"She was so at ease with animals. She would talk to them with her eyes and her heart," said Tippi's mom, Sylvie, who said her precocious daughter was known as "The Girl Who Talked to Animals."
Sylvie said she was always very careful with Tippi around the wild animals, most of which were orphaned or raised by farmers.
She said there were only two incidents -- once when a meerkat bit her nose, and a second time when a baboon pulled on the little girl's hair. It was good preparation for Regina George.
"If you're going to drink I'd rather you do it in the house."
Tippi was named after Tippi Hedren, the actress who starred in Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds.
Due to her unconventional life, Tippi became a worldwide celebrity, and a version of a fan site for her from more than a decade ago is still available.
"People who ask me " Tippi ? Like an indian teepee ? ", should open their dictionary : mine is spelt with a double P," the front page says.