“Cool” girls: the media’s perfect woman

Women are pressured to conform to hard-to-get, cold exterior, cool girl persona to get a man

Perris Larson, Staff Writer

Illustration by Gabrialla Cockerell

A guy meets a girl, he makes a move, the girl shows no interest, the guy is left fascinated by the fact that she doesn’t care. Although the girl shows no interest and approaches him with a cold attitude, he continues to chase after her. As the story continues, the girl finally admits she loves that his invasive persistence equates to love and they live happily ever after.

This is a movie plot that the world has seen enough of; the media has fed this fairytale to too many women.

But after decades of movies that send off a message that only a hard-to-get, uninterested, cold-hearted woman is the kind of girl that always gets a guy; women in real life can feel torn between who they are and how the media says they should express themselves.

This should not be the case. This is a horrible precedent movies and magazines present, it’s saying that women expressing their feelings is unattractive when it should be considered confident.

Don’t feel ashamed for expressing feelings for someone; don’t worry about what you’ll be labeled as. Because in the end at least you tried; whereas in the media it looks like they don’t have to try at all.

Men and women are held up to different standards, especially in the world of dating. If a guy expresses his feelings for a girl, he’s bold; if a girl expresses her feelings for a guy, she’s crazy.

In the movie Singin’ in the Rain, released in 1952, when Kathy Seldon and Don Lockwood first meet, he is completely surprised when she says she has never watched one of his movies and doesn’t care that he’s a movie star.

He was interested in the fact she didn’t seem interested. But the main part of being in a relationship is expressing your emotions to each other; so women appearing emotionless to charm a man is unrealistic.

Photo Illustration by Sharli Mishra

Being a cool girl, especially as shown in movies and TV shows, can range from an emotionless ice queen to a workaholic who has no time for love. Think of any typical Hallmark movie: A career-focused woman who has no time for the opposite sex takes a business trip to a small town where she meets a guy who she finds utterly annoying just because he shows her attention. She hates him, but he still persists until she finally admits she loves him.

Rachel Thompson, Senior Culture Reporter for media platform Mashable, addressed this in one of a blog post titled “The ‘cool girl’ isn’t just a fictional stereotype. Women feel pressured to play this role when they’re dating.”

“Play it cool. Keep it breezy. Treat ’em mean. Don’t reply straight away. Be aloof. Be distant. Be hard to get. These are the rules you need to follow in order to be “The Cool Girl” — a prevalent dating trope that many women feel pressured to conform to lest they be labeled clingy or desperate,” said Thompson.

The men don’t help either, but perhaps they are as influenced about the cool girl as much as women are. However, as long as men and women believe the cool girl is the perfect woman, women in the future are going to continue facing this problem.

So why does it look like guys will only persist with girls with no interest? Maybe the thrill of the chase, maybe the typical but stupid “you’re not like other girls” idea.

Here’s the deal. Women should not have to worry about being labeled as desperate for expressing feelings. The idea of acting like a cold-hearted hard-to-get woman would make guys interested is ridiculous.

At the beginning of any romance movie, the girl could genuinely not be into a guy; she doesn’t like him. But that doesn’t matter; what matters is that the guy finds her behavior cool and intriguing. That’s what young women see; therefore thinking that’s what they should do.

But they shouldn’t have to do that, women should have no fear to show their true feelings toward someone. People assume that being a “nice” girl is pathetic and uninteresting, and no guy would be interested in a girl that’s nice. But a woman can be cool and nice at the same time; it doesn’t have to be one or the other. It’s fun to play hard to get, but it doesn’t have to be taken to extremes.

A woman can be intriguing and not cold. A woman can be nice and still be confident enough to show her feelings toward someone without being labeled clingy. The media should not define what type of girls that guys should be into; it should not define how girls act toward boys.

If you like someone, go for it, don’t put on a cold exterior for them; be yourself. The worst they can do is say no; and if you do end up getting rejected, at least you made your feelings known.