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: