The "Cool Girl" Does Not Exist
She’s not like other girls. She’s a "cool girl".
Effortless beauty is a key part of the cool girl’s mystique. The cool girl trope rejects femininity. Trying to be feminine is so uncool!
I love the book Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I quote the passage at length because it's just so incredibly on point when it comes to how society pushes women to be effortlessly beautiful and relaxed:
"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."
Flynn got the idea of the cool girl from watching the movie, "There's Something About Mary" starring Cameron Diaz. Cameron Diaz's character is an orthopaedic surgeon that eats heaps of fast food, drinks beers, plays golf, watches sport - all while looking super hot and staying size zero.
In reality, Cameron Diaz does extensive training, goes to dermatologists for advanced anti-aging treatments, has had botox - she is beautiful but puts in the hard yards.
For every celebrity that admits to doing botox, there are hundreds if not thousands that claim their genetics or lifestyle is why they have no wrinkles - this is all a part of the "cool girl" mystique.
The "cool girl" is contrasted to the high-maintenance woman. High maintenance is a derogatory word that is absurd because we live in a society where woman are expected to look amazing but are mocked for making an effort.
In the plastic surgery and cosmetic industry women who care about their appearance are often portrayed as self-obsessed, vapid bimbos.
As women, if we put on makeup, we need to put on just enough makeup to look super "natural" but not too much so we appear like we're lying about what we look like. If we wear skirts, they need to be short enough so we're not a prude but long enough so we don't look slutty. Many of us lie about getting botox so we don't come across as vein or reveal that we need a little help to maintain our look.
I view cosmetics as self-care and self-expression - if it makes you feel happy then why not do it - but so many people view it as a way for woman to impress the men in their lives.
Even men in the plastic surgery industry assume men transform their looks to be sexually attractive to men. Dr Jonathan kaplan plastic surgeon wrote an article Guy (Surgeons) Know What Guys Want - he goes on to say:
"I do believe I have an advantage over a female plastic surgeon. As a guy, I know what guys want. If women are undergoing a cosmetic procedure to be more attractive to the opposite sex (in many, but of course, not all cases), who would know better what the opposite sex wants than a plastic surgeon that’s the opposite sex?!"
With so many people lying about the lengths they go to look the way they do - I think it's important to remember how much pressure we have to be naturally beautiful.
So don't feel bad about not being completely natural or makeup free or botox-free - do whatever makes you happy because after all, your personality is what truly makes you YOU! Not your fake boobs or botox or makeup!