Elle-Woods syndrome is real I swear and no I’m not just talking about girls who wear too much pink, it’s a drastically more serious situation. I’ve talked before about feminism and why I think it’s ridiculous that we refuse to take sexy women seriously in society. Today I’m speaking from a similar place. Did you know Karlie Kloss, you know the Victoria’s Secret angel and Taylor Swift’s BFF, can code? Karlie Kloss can program computers and I have no idea how experienced she is at it by any means but the fact is she can do it! Yet, when I’ve shared this fact the overwhelming response (from men and women) is that she’s lying. It seems too far fetched that a Victoria’s Secret Angel would spend even a moment of her free time embracing a hobby besides shopping and frolicking on the beach in one of her many bikinis. This reaction upset me, not because I care about Karlie Kloss’ future career at Amazon but because the general principle is so prevalent even today: You can’t be pretty and smart.
Having a brain won’t do you any favors when you’re trying to find a boyfriend…not if you’re prancing around with bows in your hair and pink polka-dotted dresses at least. Through my extensive dating experience (define extensive however you like) I’ve found that boys who are drawn to the girl in tiny hot pink dresses and glittery high heels don’t always want a girl who wants to talk about feminism and politics and literature. Those girls are “supposed” to wear navy sweaters. Those girls aren’t “supposed” to do cartwheels or talk about Gossip Girl and Taylor Swift.
Girls with glittery eye shadow who spin in ball gowns to Taylor Swift songs are “supposed” to just swoon when you tell them they are gorgeous. Why? We already know we’re pretty, make me work for your compliments a little bit! Make them something genuine, make them something real! Girls who embrace femininity are “supposed” to fall for every cheesy pick up line regardless of how many times they’ve heard the same cliche compliments again and again. These girls are “supposed” to practically hop right into your bed after you sugar coat the evening with fruity drinks and false interest. And when they don’t…well, a lot of guys are confused!
To be completely honest on a lot of first dates I walk away feeling as if I was a disappointment, not because I wasn’t pretty enough or funny enough or because I didn’t have enough to talk about but because I wasn’t passive enough. I was a disappointment because I want more than to be a “trophy girlfriend” so to speak and not only do I want more but I want a guy who sees me as more. It’s irritating because I’d like to think that in 2015 we could see past the stereotypes that pretty girls can’t be smart, that girly-girls can’t be taken seriously but it’s not so easy.
One of my favorite lines in the Great Gatsby is when Daisy speaks of her hopes for her daughter; she says “I hope she’ll be a fool—that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool” and though it’s depressing I can’t help but think she’s partially correct. The world isn’t easy for smart women, and in some ways even less easy for smart, beautiful women (I know, #PrettyGirlProblems). If you’re pretty and naive life is pretty carefree. You can find love because you refuse to be the silent jewel so many men want you to be. But if you’re intelligent you want more. You don’t want to be shushed out of the conversation, you don’t want to be interrupted when you’re sad or mad so he can tell you “You’re cute” as a means of silencing you. You don’t want to be silenced at all.
Stop telling me to “Sit there and look pretty” or things are going to get pretty freaking ugly.
Being intelligent won’t help you find a boyfriend, not most of the time anyway, but I do think that in the long run it will be worth it. I think we (intelligent gorgeous pink wearing women unite!) can eventually find someone who will talk to us about global warming as we sit sipping coffee in the kitchen in our pink cashmere sweaters and kitten slippers. Elle Woods is my symbol of hope!
What do you think? Am I just a crazy cynic with horrible luck when it comes to guys? Or have you found it’s hard to be taken seriously as a girly-girl too?