Tips to feel better when you feel crap, sad, lazy, lonely, human.
I made this zine quite quickly and ferociously as a one-off gift for a close friend. A lot of the time, I only have a small window of time to appreciate my own work before I want to move on, so I have to pump these things out really quick to get them completed.
Carla’s illustrations fill my belly with happiness
You probably know someone playing a Cool Girl in real life, and you probably resent her — unless you’re a straight dude, in which case you probably think she’s great. But Lawrence performs Cool Girlness with such skill, such seamlessness, that it doesn’t seem like a performance at all. I’m not suggesting that Lawrence is intentionally inauthentic, scheming, or manipulative: Rather, like all the Cool Girls you know, she’s subconsciously figured out what makes people like her, and she’s using it. But is this persona truly “cool,” or is it a reflection of society’s unreasonable and contradictory expectations of women?
I’m pretty conflicted by this piece on the history of the “Cool Girl”. As a girl who is into video games, I am often lumped into this category, but I certainly don’t feel like my “persona” is an act, as much as any public personality is an act. (At home I just drool and make soft mewling noises while wearing rags.)
I’ve certainly had an issue, in my young adult years, of putting on a facade that was uncomfortable for me. I call her the Punk Rock Stepford Wife, and she was the version of me that put up with being treated like shit by men, because to acknowledge that they hurt me was to acknowledge that they mattered at all. It was a miserable time for me. I was uncomfortable daily, but outwardly, I was a badass with pink hair, piercings, and tattooed boyfriends. I came to a slow realization that this performance I was putting on wasn’t even being noticed by anyone, and it was only hurting me. I slowly put her on the shelf. I don’t know if my Punk Rock Stepford Wife was a “Cool Girl”, but her self-esteem level sucked and I felt bad for her.
To me, “Cool Girls” are treated the same as women who choose to be housewives. Any women who make a choice that is contradictory to what’s expected of them are often told, by feminists, that they aren’t thinking for themselves. That they’re just conforming to social norms and that they are secretly miserable. Housewives, and now Cool Girls, are patted on the hand sadly and patronizingly by feminists for not being smart enough to realize how bad off they are. Well, I’m not fucking miserable, and I am who I am with intention and pride.
I have literally never seen a post about the history of the “cool guy”, the Errol Flynns/Steve McQueens/James Deans/George Clooneys/Leo DiCaprios of our world, and how they can’t possibly exist in reality and therefore are just fucking things up for the rest of men.
To me, this just smacks of more of us ladies clawing at each other rather than trying to raise each other up- even if we like chicken wings and are pretty and play basketball and win Oscars.
(But the info about Clara Bow and etc was interesting….)
Am I reading too much into this? Is this patronizing as fuck, or is it just me?
Does your brand of feminism remove barriers for women, or simply move them around? Does is expand options for women, or does it just shift them? You don’t liberate women by forcing them to choose option B instead of option A. What is comfortable for you might not be comfortable for someone else, and it’s entirely possible that what you see as oppressive, other women find comfortable or even downright liberating.
Before you think the girl in the middle is a strawman, let me tell you I used to be her, back in my misguided youth. I considered myself the standard to which other people should adhere. But that was stupid. It’s not up to me to tell people how to dress, and it’s much nicer to let everyone choose for themselves.
Some women would feel naked without a veil. Some women would find it restrictive. Some women would feel restricted by a bra. Some women would feel naked without one. Some women would feel restricted by a tight corset. Others love them. Some wear lots of clothes with a corset. Some only wear the corset and nothing else. What makes any article of clothing oppressive is someone forcing you to wear it. And it’s just as oppressive to force someone not to wear something that they want to wear.
This is genius. “Does your brand of feminism remove barriers for women, or simply move them around?”
When I was 13, I crushed on boys like it was my full time job. I needed to constantly have someone I was obsessing over, because I wasn’t sure what to do with myself otherwise.
I was watching MTV’s House of Style one day (the old one, with Cindy Crawford) and saw a piece on it about surfer fashion sense. I became deeply and insanely committed to obsessing over one of the surfers featured. He had long ombre hair and wore 70s polyester and an impish grin. I thought about him constantly, I recorded that episode on a VHS tape, and I watched that tape until it became fuzzy and weird. I told myself that if I didn’t watch the clip at least three times a day, we might never fall in love for real. I couldn’t google this surfer so I just invented an entire life for him that involved me moving to Hawaii to be with him and work at a coffeeshop. The fantasy soothed me, somehow.
I don’t know when I got over this obsession- probably at some point I found a guy at school to obsess over instead, that I could see in real life instead of on fuzzy VHS. It took me until very recently to realize that the main reason I was so obsessed with him was that he was a big guy. He towered over Cindy Crawford and had this huge barrel chest and thighs that I estimated were probably bigger than mine.
That’s how deep my body hatred was as a teenager: I was attracted to boys merely because they outweighed the chubby Amazon I was becoming.