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June 10, 2016

Why Is Being a ‘Cool Girl’ So Cool?

Naaila Khan

If you haven’t closely been following the first big Hollywood divorce of the year (many more in store!) – all of the signature drama, suspense and mud-slinging included, courtesy Johnny Depp and Amber Heard – you might’ve missed out the part where people are going through a creepy déjà vu moment right now: the recent pictures of Amber emerging from a four-hour meeting with her legal team, laughing like she just planned world domination or well, usurpation of all of Johnny’s wealth, are conjuring up some uneasy memories – hello, Amy Dunne. Not so nice to meet you again.

Behold the gif, the fun, ready reckoner of the heebie jeebies.

Not so long ago, Amy Dunne, the unarguably messed up character from Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, entered the building oozing charm and left the book/movie more than just ruffling our feathers – leaving a fair amount of blood stains on purpose everywhere (* shudder *). Now though we don’t know whether Amber is an IRL Amy – let’s leave that decision to the court, shall we – what it has done is bring that ‘cool girl’ trope to the fore once again.

And if you ask me, I’d more than like to address this issue (read: rant) that started with Jan Brady and continues to plague our interaction with the opposite gender in these modern times.

But really, when was the last time you heard a guy tell you to “chill”? Me? Like fifteen minutes ago. Because I wanted the fries passed and reflexively reached out across the table for it. Can you chill two seconds – I’m passing it!

And then fours ago when the gang was making post-work plans and I simply stated all the reasons I couldn’t travel across town to hang out and it was a better idea for them to come over this side of the world. Chill, why you freaking out?, the boys said.

Also, last weekend. When we had to book our stay at this hill station B&B and somehow, I was the only person concerned about losing the total luck-out place to someone next in line, waiting to cave in and seal the deal. We’ll wire the advance tomorrow, it’ll take 2 minutes!, they said (P.S. The wire went haywire last minute and they had to convince the host to accept cash upon arrival. He agreed, but can I just say I told you so?).

TBH, I’ve had enough. We all have. What is this concept of being “cool” and keeping “chill” and why does it exist? And what’s with this ‘cool girl’ hype?

In Amy Dunne’s own words:

“Men always say that as the defining compliment, don't they? She's a cool girl. Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she's hosting the world's biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don't mind, I'm the Cool Girl.”

News flash, guys: the cool girl doesn’t really exist. Exactly like how a 6-foot-3 Chris Hemsworth clone who has a degree in thermodynamics, runs a multimillion-dollar business, volunteers at the pet rescue in his free time, reads Nietzsche for fun, sends flowers to your workplace and ditches the game to watch Netflix with you – doesn’t exist. They just don’t make those.

And you know what? It’s okay. I’d gladly take a combination of just two of those pluses any day. Because “being cool” implies trying to be something you’re actually not. You’re not cool with driving across town on a weekday and you’re not cool with keeping your much-deserved holiday up for grabs. No shame in simply being honest about how you feel. (Even if it’s about passing the fries and acting on how soon you want it done.)

If you’re pissed off with your boyfriend for not meeting you for a week, let it be known to him. You haven’t signed any contracts to keep your feelings buried, have you? And God knows, one day it’s all going to come spewing out like the exhaust of an old engine – you don’t want to be caught in a hot mess!

There’s no such thing as a cool girl. You’re a girl. You're a cool person. But you also have feelings and emotions and completely valid reactions to BS. So the next time you don’t exactly agree with what the next guy’s saying, quit the act and state it. It’ll probably save you a full-blown Amy Dunne-style life crisis and a homicide or two. 

 

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