You Don’t Want to Be a “Cool Girl,” And Here’s Why

The “I’m not like other girls” trope is harming women in the real world

Lin

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We’ve all known a cool girl in our lives. She’d drink straight whiskey but turn her nose up at a fruity margarita. She’d rather spend her Sunday afternoons watching football with the boys than shopping or any other girly activities. She’d pick an old t-shirt and jeans over a dress and heels any day, but she’s always Megan Fox-levels of hot. Her diet consists of junk food and beer, but she’s nothing but six-pack abs and perfect curves.

When her boyfriend tells her he’s going to the bar with friends and comes back much later than he said he would, she doesn’t get angry. She’s never needy, clingy, or naggy, and she never loses her cool. She’s not like other girls.

We’ve all known the “cool girl” — and sometimes, we’ve even tried to be her. The “cool girl” stereotype hasn’t only infiltrated countless movies and TV shows, but it’s even had a cultural impact on women — and not for the better.

The “cool girl” goes beyond fiction

There are infinite examples of the “cool girl” in modern media, but some of the most famous examples include Robin Scherbatsky in How I Met Your Mother, Megan Fox’s character in Transformers, and Mila Kunis in Black Swan.

These are all characters that are “not like other girls,” and they perfectly embody what their male protagonists — and the male audience — desire from women.

Unfortunately, the “cool girl” trope goes beyond the television screen. Girls and women have had the “cool girl” trope stuffed down our throats since early adolescence, so it’s no surprise that we’ve taken into real-life dating and relationships.

The “cool girl” is now a normal part of dating culture — it’s the impossible standard that women believe they have to meet, and it’s the unrealistic expectation that men think they deserve.

To get the guy, women are taught they just need to be cool. Don’t nag him when he spends twelve hours a day playing video games. Don’t take it personally when he doesn’t put more than the bare minimum into the relationship. Don’t ask for reassurance or affirmation even though…

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Lin

When I’m not writing, you can usually find me hanging out with my cats