“The Cool Girl has many variations: She can have tattoos, she can be into comics, she might be really into climbing or pickling vegetables. She’s always down to party, or do something spontaneous like drive all night to go to a secret concert. Her body, skin, face, and hair all look effortless and natural — the Cool Girl doesn’t even know what an elliptical machine would look like — and wears a uniform of jeans and tank tops, because trying hard isn’t Cool. The Cool Girl has a super-sexy ponytail.
The Cool Girl never nags, or ‘just wants one’ of your chili fries, because she orders a giant order for herself. She’s an ideal that matches the times — a mix of feminism and passivity, of confidence and femininity. She knows what she wants, and what she wants is to hang out with the guys.
Cool Girls don’t have the hang-ups of normal girls: They don’t get bogged down by the patriarchy, or worrying about their weight. They’re basically dudes masquerading in beautiful women’s bodies, reaping the privileges of both. But let’s be clear: It’s a performance. It might not be a conscious one, but it’s the way our society implicitly instructs young women on how to be awesome: Be chill and don’t be a downer, act like a dude but look like a supermodel.”
Anne Helen Petersen is a brilliant writer; her website, Celebrity Gossip, Academic Style, is a must-read if you’re interested in Hollywood culture and media analysis, and her series on The Hairpin, Scandals of Classic Hollywood, is so successful that she’s turning it into a book. I also love her un-Hollywood related pieces: on Lilith Fair, summer camp, two lane highways, and lost loves, to name a few. This article is classic AHP, with plenty of old Hollywood gossip and feminist analysis to keep you engaged. Enjoy!