If you have read the book Gone Girl or watched the movie you are probably familiar with the cool girl monologue. The part of the monologue that stood out to me the most was when she said, “They’re not even pretending to be the woman they want to be, they’re pretending to be the woman a man wants them to be.”
Being a chill girl or the “cool girlfriend” is a type of woman who is exactly what the male gaze perceives as being the perfect girl. Sometimes people will say she’s one of the guys or “she’s not like other girls.” Usually this girl will try to have the same interests as men to fit in with them or to make these men like her more.
The cool girl mindset is incredibly toxic. It is not wrong for a woman to want to hang out with guys and have similar interests, but forcing yourself to become another person to please the male gaze is only hurting women. Women are suppressing their true authentic selves to fit some dream girl men have conjured in their minds. She’s not even real. This “cool girl” was not created by women; it is just another way for men to control how women act and look.
When women sacrifice their needs in order to fit this cool girl persona for men they are internalizing patriarchy without realizing it.
This isn’t me shaming girls who try to be the “cool girl.” We ALL have been there, and it’s not your fault. I know I have tried to fit this cool girl narrative. I wanted so badly to fit in and have a guy like me that I ignored my boundaries and set aside my needs so that I could be the “perfect girl” in his eyes. I lost a part of myself trying to conform to this narrative that only a cool girl can be loved. I thought if a girl has needs and boundaries then she is crazy and hard to love.
I am not saying that all women have to be the same and have the same needs. Some women truly have the same interests as men, and not everyone has the same amount or kinds of needs. However, we must be able to be true to ourselves, and realize when we are suppressing our needs. Women’s empowerment does not come from making ourselves smaller or changing ourselves for the male gaze. It comes from accepting ourselves as we are, and being ourselves to the fullest extent.
By: Sydney KarlosInstagram: @sydkarloss