It’s true – that girl in MEDVL 1101: Young Idiots vs. Toxic Elders with you seems really cool. But is she actually cool, or is she just an angsty little ball of insecurity desperately yearning to be perceived as cool because she never got over her lack of friends in middle school? Here’s how you can tell the difference!
She might seem busy when she swifty yet confidently flicks through her many notifications – but what if her phone isn’t buzzing with group chats, just duolingo reminders and twitter trends?
In order to discern if she’s feigning digital popularity, research if she’s constantly being bombarded by messaging that tells her that her worth and likeability are inexorably linked.
Is she being honest, you wonder, when after making an insightful remark in class she leans over and conspiratorial whispers to you that she never did the reading?
This one’s simple! Just find out if her mother unintentionally reinforced the expectation that women be effortless in their intelligence and self-deprecating towards their accomplishments, and you have your answer.
Fuck! Her confession that she felt isolated during her first month at Cornell but found a community she loves in a niche social activism group on campus only makes her cooler. Is she being real with you, or has she learned that slight vulnerability will disarm people who have been raised to be suspicious of and intimidated by self-confident women?
There’s an easy trick to tell! Just find out if she might have been subject to repeated social punishments for unabashed confidence from a young age!
Her messy lob appears to be a product of her refusal to align with traditional standards of femininity, but she also could have seen a photo of Cara Delivigne and thought it would make her appear carefree and low-maintenance. Which was her influence? Are her bed-head waves the product of a few lazy squirts of a sea-salt spray or a daily 45-minute hair-curling routine?
Just think – has she, from a young age, internalized expectations about how women should always look effortlessly beautiful? Did she read YA fiction as a teen? Has she seen more than 5 movies made in the last 126 years? Does she know what a TV is? This should give you the insights you need!
Hopefully by now you’ve figured out whether the cool girl effortlessly displays the set of incidentally consumerist and deferential traits that fit the media’s stereotype of a cool girl independent from any social pressures! Now, you can go back to figuring out if the vocal Republican in the class really is “solidly middle-class” like he claims.