There is a lie that pretty much every woman on earth has told at some point in her life in order to impress a man.
The lie? That she is a Cool Girl.
The ‘Cool Girl’ is the epitome of what the man in front of her wants. A Cool Girl is laid back, never gets angry when he doesn’t call and loves all the things her man loves while being trophy-level sexy.
The concept of the Cool Girl was probably best encapsulated by Gillian Flynn in Gone Girl, the crazy popular book-turned-movie of the moment (starring one of the finest and most respected actors of our generation, Gigli star Ben Affleck). Amy, Flynn’s slightly deranged female lead, describes the Cool Girl like this:
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.
That has probably been one of the most talked about passages in the entire book, as it resonated with so many women on an uncomfortably relatable level. It doesn’t have to be specific to football, dirty jokes, burping and beer – that’s just the surface part of it. Being a Cool Girl is about compromising who you are so you can seem more like the woman you think he wants you to be.
He’s into music festivals? You love them. He thinks women who swear lack class? You’ve never sworn in your life. He stays out until 2am and doesn’t call? No biggie, you just want him to have fun.
Whatever the example, whatever the compromise, every woman has tried to be the cool girl at some point in her life. Who hasn’t put on a bit of a front in order to seem more like the girl of his dreams?
I did it for a while. I’ve written about the boyfriend I refused to fart in front of because I knew he thought it was un-ladylike. I’ve done sex stuff I wasn’t super comfortable with because I wanted to seem carefree and uninhibited. I’ve let some guys get away with really crappy behaviour because I didn’t want to ‘nag’.
But one day, I stopped. I think it was a self-esteem thing – I just couldn’t be bothered pretending to be the Cool Girl anymore. And the turning point was my pubes.
Here’s the deal: I don’t wax them. I wish I could say there’s some grand feminist reasoning behind that choice, but really it’s just because ripping your pubic hair out of your vagina fucking hurts, and after trying it once (for a boy), I vowed never to do it again. If waxing is your thing, then go for gold, my friend. But it’s just not for me – the hair doesn’t bother me, and getting rid of it is basically signing up for monthly torture, so why would I do it?
Finally having the guts to accept that about myself (and anyone who thinks refusing to wax in the age of Victoria’s Secret and Nicki Minaj doesn’t take guts can get fucked), and not being afraid to own that choice in front of guys, started me thinking about the other stuff I’d been faking in order to seem like the Cool Girl.
If I could unapologetically keep my bush, then I could certainly accept all the other things about myself that make me the opposite of a Cool Girl. Here’s a few more things on my Anti-Cool Girl List:
1. I won’t pretend to like things that you like.
I’ll support things that you like, I’ll talk to you about the things you like, and I’ll sometimes engage with the things that you like, but I’ll never pretend that I like the things you like as much as you like them. I’ll watch Star trek with you, but I won’t pay to see William Shatner at Comic Con. I’ll go to a sporting thing with you, but I won’t buy the jersey and go to every game of the season.
2. I won’t pretend to like drinks that you like.
I don’t like beer. Never have, never will. Some other girl can chug down with the boys – I’m perfectly happy with my sparkling wine, thank you very much. And it’s usually the cheapest one, because I can’t taste the difference. I don’t like brown alcohol. I don’t like trendy cider. I don’t like wine without bubbles. I basically need all my alcoholic beverages to be sweet and fizzy. I may not look like ‘one of the guys’, but everything I drink tastes like a glorious fruit cocktail, so suck it.
The staff at Mamamia confess to the biggest lie they’ve ever told their partner. Post continues below…
3. I won’t pretend I’ve had an orgasm when I haven’t.
Oh, this old trap. I have faked many an orgasm in my time. Then I became an Anti-Cool Girl, and realised sex wasn’t just about him feeling like a sex god. In fact, and this may sound crazy, but sex is actually kind of pointless unless you enjoy it. As soon as I realised that, I wouldn’t say I’d climaxed unless I had. They may have to work a little harder but… Well, I couldn’t give a fuck, to be honest.
4. I won’t pretend I enjoy doing domestic things.
Part of being a Cool Girl is loving all the things he loves, while also maintaining those ‘traditional feminine’ traits that make his life easier. Things like loving cooking, rolling your eyes lovingly while you vacuum and he watches TV, understanding how to wash clothes without unintentionally changing the colour of them. You know, basic lady-stuff as imagined by Family Feud.
I used to worry about my lack of skill in this department, until I stopped trying to be a Cool Girl. I can’t cook, and I have absolutely no interest in learning how. Whoever loves me must appreciate the time I take to order dinner or make a toasted sandwich. I’m messy. I pee in the shower. I’m also convinced towels hardly need washing because you’re already clean when you use them.
5. I won’t pretend I like sex stuff I’m not comfortable with.
I once wrote an article about how giving head is the absolute worst, so it’s probably no surprise that I’m not willing to pretend I enjoy doing all the sex things just to hook a man. Bum stuff is out. It just is. Don’t even ask. When I was much younger and less self-assured, I once let a guy try. He had barely made contact when I reflexively kicked him in the balls, so venture there at your own risk.
6. I won’t pretend I’m not pissed off when you do something shitty.
If a guy says he’ll txt and he doesn’t, that’s rude and I’ll be pissed off. If my boyfriend goes out until 5am without so much as a call, I’ll be pissed off. If someone I’m dating constantly stands me up, I’ll be pissed off. I won’t pretend to be an unaffected Cool Girl about things that piss me off. If something doesn’t feel right, I’ll say so. Which leads me to…
7. I won’t pretend that I don’t need to talk about things.
Cool Girls don’t like to make an issue of things. I know this because I’ve been there. I’ve held so much inside in the past because I didn’t want to seem ‘difficult to deal with’. But when I stopped trying to be a Cool Girl, all that changed. I’m an intelligent, multi-faceted and complex woman – if that’s too difficult for you to deal with, then there’s the door.
8. I won’t pretend heels are an easy and/or comfortable experience.
The Cool Girl can wear ridiculously high heels all day, every day. She never complains, never falls over, and never carries them home in her hand at 2am.
I used to wear heels all the time, even though I hated them and and could barely make it 10 feet without falling over. Then I just got jack of it. They hurt and made me fall and I never had a good time when I was wearing them. That just didn’t feel like it was worth the sexiness, so I stopped. Haven’t fallen over since.
9. I won’t pretend my appearance is for you.
Every choice I make about the way I look is to make me happy. My hair? For me. My make-up (or lack thereof)? For me. The clothes I wear? For me. I like wearing flannie pyjamas to bed and I would never wake up early to put make-up on before you see me. Everything about my appearance I do so I feel good about myself, not so you’ll feel good about having me on your arm.
10. I won’t pretend I’m okay with waxing.
It hurts and my pubes don’t bother me. If they bother you, then kindly step away from my vagina.
So there you have it. Those are all the things that make me an Anti-Cool Girl. Ten-odd years ago, admitting to this kind of stuff would have been mortifying to me. I would have assumed a piece like this would guarantee me a life of cat-filled solitude. But with time and age, I’ve become a lot more confident and a lot more self-assured. And the most important thing I’ve realised is this:
Pretending to be a Cool Girl has the opposite effect to what you think it does. You will never end up with the person you’re meant to be with by pretending to be someone that you’re not.
The person who makes you feel like you can put your Anti-Cool Girl list out there, is the person who loves you for who you really are.
Be with the person who loves your Anti-Cool Girl.