You may have noticed this term floating around recently, haphazardly languishing itself amongst think-piece titles (this one included, so no shame): “The Cool Girl.”
A catch-all term for a girl so uniquely positioned in your social scene but so frustratingly hard to actually describe. You see, she’s sort of a shape shifter. If you go to a rough and tumble concrete jungle city school, she probably wears chic AF leather moto jackets and cat-eye sunnies, while down at the SEC side of the spectrum, I imagine she has an on-point spray tan and somehow manages not to make those brightly colored floral frocks look completely and disturbingly matronly. Whatever she’s wearing or doing or being, though, she’s fucking killing the game. Especially compared to you.
Whatever she does looks totally effortless. She somehow always says the perfect thing that’s equal parts endearing and nonchalant. She really genuinely does look like she just woke up like that, but in a good way. Whatever she does makes you think “Of course! Why didn’t I think of that. It’s so perfect!” Everyone knows her and everyone loves her. If you dare mention one thing about this girl that you “just don’t get,” someone will accuse you of being jealous, because of course, you don’t measure up. It’s not her fault, after all, that she’s smart (but not in a pretentious way), driven (but never stepping on anyone’s toes), successful (but not like, braggy), popular (but sooooooo nice – and funny!), pretty (in that “girl-next-door”-meets-supermodel way), and oh yeah, just all around casual, relaxed, go with the flow and super fucking cool (just like, the fucking coolest. No really! Check out her Insta!).
Just admit, you want to be her. Maybe not all the time, but every now and then, the thoughts start creeping into your mind: “Maybe if I were just a little more like Emily.” “How does Annie pull off those jeans?” “I should really try to stop being so X, and be more like Y.” They’re all code for the same thing: “I want to be The Cool Girl.” You want to have that effortless glow that seems to carry you from room to room like the shining, effortless beacon of humanity that you should be. Which is fine.
Except for the fact that The Cool Girl doesn’t actually exist. So please, God, do not fall for her trap.
Which isn’t to say that The Cool Girl is trying to pull a fast-one on you. By all means I’m sure she’s perfectly lovely. But this “always on” yet somehow effortless schtick she’s pulling is just that – a schtick. I will bet one million dollars that she farts, has ratty, stained pajamas, has failed a test before, has said the totally wrong thing at the totally wrong time, and has to pose really hard to get the perfect shot. Not to be cliché, but nobody’s perfect — even the seemingly perfect.
In fact, always being so “on” and curated means she likely has hella anxiety and an ugly perfectionist streak. Which is ironic, given all the anxiety her existence causes you. Either way, deep down under her bed-head curls and perfect little white t-shirt and jeans outfit, lies a real, flawed human being who is just trying her best. Like you.
So don’t fall for The Cool Girl trap. Just be yourself. But you know, washed and bathed and kind of put-together. Or, you know what? Just don’t be a disgusting disaster, ok? You’ll be fine..