Re: The Cool Girl
or A Manic Pixie Fuck You
“Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself. I am large, I contain multitudes.” — Walt Whitman [Song of Myself]
If you haven’t read this, I highly suggest you do so otherwise this will make little-to-no sense. What originally got me thinking pretty hard about all of this was a conversation (at first) based off my friend Marshall’s thoughts on the above. That maybe the Cool Girl doesn’t really exist, or that if they do, they’re pretending.
We were eating tacos at the time (I was technically burning my mouth on tacos at the time), and I remember throwing around words like “jealous” and “bullshit” quite a bit. I was angry then. I still am. It’s been a very personal and long-standing struggle to define who I am and what I value as a person.
But as a card carrying Cool Girl, at least as Flynn puts it, I’m offended that we’re told we don’t really exist. That we can’t really exist (“nobody likes chili dogs that much”). That we’re a myth, or worse, something tailor made so a certain type of man finds us attractive and we fit into the ever-evolving dating landscape. Heaven forbid I like the things I do because I think they’re cool. We live and die by the patriarchy right? So everything I like, think, say, or do must be in line with what men find appealing.
My tattoo? Obviously just a ploy to appear cooler than I am, and definitely not a personal (and extremely nerdy) reminder of a book series I loved in high school and still re-read on occasion.
My glasses? That’s just another kind of makeup deception, right? Totally not because I think my face looks weird without them OR that the very idea of poking myself in the eye daily makes my stomach churn. (Cheers to the brave folks who wear contacts. I just can’t.)
Video games? Comics? Beer? Black boots?
These are Men Things. Not for women, ladies, or girls. Any woman who claims to like any of these things is obviously a Cool Girl Hipster Fake, just pretending to like these things in order to lure unsuspecting Nerd Boys.
Let’s look at that sentence breakdown, folks.
Any woman who claims to like any of these things is obviously a Cool Girl Hipster Fake, just pretending to like these things in order to lure unsuspecting Nerd Boys.
Who in their right fucking mind would want to lure “Nerd Boys” if they weren’t attracted to the same things? Say you successfully lure said Boy. What are your dates going to be like? To movies you hate? Dinner dates where you’re ‘forced’ to play video games you hate? Or discuss books you can’t relate to? What kind of goddamn insanity is that?
Or, is it more sinister than even that? While men are trying to legislate my body, my fellow women are doing them one better by trying to tell me what I can and cannot find interesting. That by liking what I do, I am in fact a fake and a pretender, only in it to attract a certain kind of man.
Just the thought of it is so gross and infuriating it’s hard to contemplate. But it also gets more complicated, too. I’m not just a dude in a sexy lady skin. I also unabashedly like shitty pink wine, so does that get me some Genuine Lady Cred back? I like baking cookies and then eating too many of them, and mooning over cute french bulldogs, and drawing tiny animals in suits.
Those are lady things! I’m so confused now! Lady things! Man things!
Oh god. Is it true? Am I the sum of more than just the things I like and do? Oh god. I’m an actual human being with thoughts and feelings! Oh god. I’m just like you! Complicated and immense. A person. Quick! Someone push the panic button! We have a breach in the fabric of reality!
All kidding aside though, the goal of relationships is not to find someone, anyone, whatever. We all know this, right? To “be a couple” or fill some person-shaped hole you have in your heart? It’s to find someone you enjoy spending time and experiences with. Someone you enjoy having in your permanent memory bank. Of course I want to date someone who likes the things I like. Why would I want to fill my emotional data drive with shit I don’t care about?
“Oh, hey, remember that show we went to for that band you love and I hate? What an awesome time!!” -Nobody, ever.
Stop picking at each other. Stop breaking people down and assuming their fake or trying to be Cool because they like a traditionally male interest or indie music or chili dogs or whatever-the-hell-else. We’re the Tomboys of your youth. The same girls who used to catch tadpoles and race bikes and collect rocks. Those girls who wore jeans and tiny kid sneakers instead of cute dresses because dresses are for Easter and Christmas only, Mom, you promised.
We’re not pretenders or fakes. We just like different stuff than you.
I exist. I’m not modeled after some celebrity with long impossibly shiny hair or your favorite manic pixie dream girl from a movie. I’m a person. I’m more than just a collection of traits that a small subset of men or women find attractive. You are more than that, as well.
Besides, I don’t even listen to the fucking Smiths.