A few weeks ago, as I was avoiding getting out of bed, I found a Buzzfeed article about what it mean to be a “cool” girl. Specifically, it focused on Hollywood, and I just found the whole thing SO interesting. These few weeks later I keep thinking about this concept as my friends and I discussed sorority stereotypes. To be honest, I clicked on the link because it had Jennifer Lawrence in the title, and then I got hooked by the tagline: Be chill and don’t be a downer. Act like a dude but look like a supermodel.
It made some very interesting points about the way that girls/women behave using Jennifer Lawrence as a modern example and some old Hollywood stars as an example of the “relatable” girl who everyone loves and the dangers and downfalls that can come from being this girl. There’s a fine line between being “cool” and over the top. Girls who can hang with the guys are cool. Girls who behave like guys too much become too far past relatable to maintain an image. This got me thinking about what it actually means to be the cool girl.
There’s benefit in being the J-Law type of cool- especially if you’re also a multi-billion dollar celebrity who has to maintain a loyal following in an ever-changing market. Having that “it-girl but I’m too cool for that” personality can create a likable image, but there is a cost. Maybe it’s because I grew up watching football with my dad every Sunday, but even now I spend my Sundays watching football with the boys in one room and then dashing to make Downton Abbey in the other room. Maybe it’s because this is so normal to me, but I’ve never seen this as the “cool” thing to do.
I don’t consider myself much of a feminist (Phoebe said it best — “we can drive, we can vote, we can work, what more do these broads want?”) but I do think that women and girls should be able to be whatever they want. I don’t think that this means that women should be subjected to the control of men. I just think that we need to be able to present our best selves without caring that we may be challenged by others. Personally, I think that’s what makes a cool girl. Being yourself. Not being afraid to hang with the boys because you can hold your own with the boys. Or anyone else for that matter.
That’s why we look up to these types of girls when we see them on a larger scale. They’re the ones who seem out there and like they don’t care at all what people think, and that becomes a relatable and even enviable quality above all else. It’s also why they can so easily overstep that line — not caring what people think is great until you lose your connection to the rest of society. Relatable can spiral into out of control as fast as I can fall in love with dresses that don’t fit me. But honestly, don’t worry about that until you have to. Go crazy. You’re probably a lot less likely to get judged by all of America than Jennifer Lawrence so who gives a damn what people think? Definitely not me.