Sometimes, getting ready with your homies is more fun than going out. (Photo: Getty Images)
Gillian Flynn provided us with a spot-on description of the elusive “cool girl” many men say they’re looking for in her novel Gone Girl. “Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot.”
I was reminded of this same paragraph a few months ago chatting with a friend about being single in New York City. As we lamented the loss of old-school romance in the city, my friend noted how ridiculous it was that dating was this hard, especially for women like us.
“Well, we’re like, cool girls,” she said. “We’re smart, we’re funny, have good jobs, down to have fun, and we don’t do high-maintenance stuff like take forever to get ready.” While I agreed with most of what she said, the last bit gave me serious pause – “we don’t take forever to get ready.”
I was perturbed by her words for a few reasons. One, because I felt like after nearly 10 years of friendship, she must have not learned anything about me – the reason why I’m late for a lot of things she invites me to is because I take my time getting ready. But what really bothered me about her comment is that it suggests that the short amount of time it allegedly takes for her to get ready puts her and similarly low-maintenance gals above other women, because men don’t like to wait around for their ladies to put themselves together.
It plays into the stereotype that women who care about their appearance are somehow not as substantial or serious as women who don’t put in as much effort into how they look from day to day. Caring about presenting yourself to the world in a way that is appropriate and makes you look your best shouldn’t make people automatically assume that you’re vain and self-involved.
Men and women alike suffer from societal pressures when it comes to appearance, but the standards that are placed upon women are often impossible, contrary, unrealistic, or a mixture of all three. We’re expected to have the face of a Victoria’s Secret model, the body of Beyoncé, perfect hair and style that reads put-together, but is still low maintenance enough for us to seem approachable or “chill” so men can feel satisfied with who we are. That’s a lot of pressure to put one someone who is just trying to live her life.
Ugh, calm down an hour isn’t that long to wait! (Photo: Tumblr)
For a lot of women, looking good – or looking as good as they want – takes time. Styling your hair, doing your makeup, finding the perfect outfit for whatever situation – this ain’t I Dream of Jeannie, boo – we can’t just fold our arms, blink really hard and instantly go from dusty to date night ready. But besides the social and gender implications that come with my friend’s statement, getting ready is actually, well, fun. The ritual of it all – choosing an outfit, moisturizing your skin, creating a makeup look, experimenting with hairstyles and accessories while jamming out to a dope playlist, perhaps with a glass or two of wine or a cocktail. There is something about transforming yourself from regular schmegular to someone far more fabulous that is extremely enjoyable.
The time I spend getting ready is the ultimate me-time. I can clear my head, be as silly as I want to, I can twerk in the mirror without guys creeping on me, and most importantly – I can practice my smize (What, you think being able to serve face at the drop of a hat is something that’s not learned? Girl…). If I’m getting ready with a friend, we can do all that and more together. We share beauty tips and supplies, experiment with our looks, talk shit, style each other. It’s an incredible bonding opportunity for me and my female (or male!) friends who love to preen. And the end result is always fierce. We look good and we slay together. So how again is taking time to look as confident on the outside as you feel on the inside a bad thing?
When I finally leave the house. (Photo: Tumblr)
The fact of the matter is, it really isn’t. Besides the fact that no one should feel ashamed for taking pride and care in their appearance, to place a higher value on someone who doesn’t, or deny yourself the pleasure of getting gussied up just because it may be a desirable trait to some men is dubious logic. A guy should like you for who you are as a person, regardless of whether or not he could finish a full Judd Apatow movie by the time you’re done getting dressed.
And if your man doesn’t like the fact that it takes you long to get ready, just remind him that Rome wasn’t built in a day – so waiting a few hours to create a flawless look should be no big deal.