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After spending several years in social services, Nicole has finally followed her lifelong dream of being a full-time writer. In addition to her work for The Hudsucker, Nicole is also a staff writer for Womanista. An avid comic book fan, BBQ aficionado, professional makeup artist and first-time mom, Nicole can be found exploring Kansas City rich history when she's not blogging about suburban life at Suburban Flamingo.

We’re All Cool: The Fiction That is “The Cool Girl”

In her novel Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn defines the perfect girl of the twenty-first century. The novel’s primary female character Amy, has a long speech in which she details this perfect girl, a creature she calls the “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.”

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Image Credit: 20th Century Fox

That’s the idea of the Cool Girl. She’s gorgeous and essentially a dude in a hot girl’s body. She’s nothing of substance and she’s annoying because that’s the kind of girl guys seem to prefer. The problem is that the Cool Girl doesn’t exist. Or, rather, she does because we are all, in some way, the Cool Girl.

The idea of the Cool Girl that Flynn presents is a harsh either or. Her Cool Girl is presented by Amy as being the only woman that is considered attractive. If you aren’t the Cool Girl you aren’t attractive. In reality that’s not true. Not every man (or woman) is attracted to a woman who is a size 2 yet has a junk food addiction. Not everyone is attracted to a woman who will allow herself to be treated poorly. There are those who like curves and those who are interested girls who like healthy eating, and there are those who love a woman who can stand up for herself.

And what of women who are genuinely “guy-like” not because they are trying to impress a lover, but because they happen to like typically masculine things? I know lots of women who are more passionate about football than the men in my life and I personally am the person my friends turn to when they need help with technology or a reference for comic books. These “male” attributes aren’t imitations meant to impress. These are real facets of personality. The same woman I know who loves the Denver Broncos more than life itself is also a woman who happens to know her way around a makeup counter, but also doesn’t take crap from anyone. She’s a real person, but more than that, she’s her own person. She is unique.

That uniqueness is why the myth of the Cool Girl is just that—a myth. To a certain extent we all try to portray ourselves as the best and most impressive version we can be when we’re meeting people we might want to date or be in a relationship with. We polish up the qualities we think our intended date will like the best, and we run with it at least until a time when we are comfortable sharing a bit more of the less shiny parts. It’s normal, but it’s not the same as building an entire false persona and then letting it fade away. Even our polished up best self is still a version of who we really are. There’s nothing fictional about that.

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One Comment on “We’re All Cool: The Fiction That is “The Cool Girl””

  1. gemgemgoesglobal April 27, 2015 at 9:48 pm #

    the “cool girl” is that unattainable thing that it’s become cool to want to rebel against. it could be that women got so bored of desperately trying and failing to be “cool girl” that a societal hatred for her grew and now we are all embracing the more attainable curvy girl and celebrating women in all forms. it makes me happy that we are becoming more tolerant of each other and not being so determined to be this old school version of “cool” but i also kinda now feel bad for the girls who genuinely, naturally just fit into the “cool girl” mould XD great article :)

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