The 'cool girl' concept has become popularised thanks to Gillian Flynn's novel and the wildly popular film of the same name, Gone Girl. In the novel, Flynn's narrator is poignantly observant when she notes that "Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football [...], 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. Hot and understanding."
Of course, if you've seen the movie or read the book you'll know that the protagonist is a frightening indictment of this cultural phenomenon. The 'cool girl' is a messy amalgamation of traits that means the girl in question can be the perfect girl for every guy - but, after all, nobody is truly chameleonic when it comes down to it. Indeed, the 'cool girl' is ultimately a dangerous construct that expects women to adapt their habits to please their men.
But how to identify this 'cool girl'? What makes a woman cool, according to men? Really, it's doing all those things guys like to do, while still remaining distinctly feminine. Have a look at this grab bag of traits that make up the ultimate 'cool girl', and make up your own mind about whether or not this is an attainable ideal or a misogynistic pipedream.
10 She enjoys food as much as you
The 'cool girl' isn't afraid to munch on French fries, hamburgers, pizza or whatever other delightful fast food offering she might encounter on a daily basis. She doesn't count calories, doesn't need to worry about her jeans size, and still manages to look better than the terminal dieter next to her.
Girls are jealous, the guys are admiring. Either this is the luckiest girl in the gene pool, or she's working out super hard to maintain that seemingly effortless tiny waistline.
9 She's a gamer
The gamer girl has become one of the most popular ideals online. Many men who play online games will warn that it's highly likely that the hot female warrior is in fact a man behind the cute screen name. Because the real gamer girl is elusive, almost impossible to find.
Except, she's not. 48% of gamers are, in fact, female - there's nothing more special about a talented female gamer than a male gamer.
8 She can handle her booze
The cool girl can drink you under the table. None of those sticky cocktails or icky shots, either. When she's hitting up the bar, it's whisky à la How I Met Your Mother's consummate cool girl, Robin, or perhaps draft beer by the pint. Because, if it hasn't already been made clear, cool girl doesn't count calories.
Of course, she never gets sloppy drunk despite the endless whiskies on ice because that just isn't hot.
Right. This 'cool girl' ideal is at best implausible; everyone gets drunk if they drink too much, and either you'll take your 'cool girl' as the drinker she is and accept that she gets drunk sometimes - or you'll have to recognize that sobriety is sexy too. girl - or guy - needn't knock back the shots to prove their 'cool' factor.
7 She gets along with your family and friends
When Redditors were questioned about what defines a cool girl, one of the most common responses was this. And while Gillian Flynn's bundle of clichés might be largely misogynistic, both men and women can agree that a partner who makes an effort to get along with your loved ones is, objectively, pretty cool.
Does she know how to charm your mom? Can she relate to your best friends, and does she actually enjoy spending time in amongst those complex family dynamics and friend group politics? Then this cool girl is a keeper.
6 She's *ahem* open minded
When it comes to having a relationship with a cool girl, expect her to be wild in the bedroom department. Because a cool girl approaches life adventurously, and that's reflected when it comes down to getting between the sheets.
Of course, an open-minded approach to sex is also, objectively, cool - it's a way to keep the relationship alive. But that's not just one-sided; an open-minded gal wants a similarly adventurous guy, so you better be prepared to keep up with her pace.
5 She's interested in what interests you
Again, this is less of a golden rule for the cool girl than a basic trait of a decent partner, friend or basic social animal. It's polite to show an interest in other people's passions.
But does the 'cool girl' have to like every single thing you enjoy? Well, no; it's a little more complicated than that, because the cool girl is also challenging. Cool girl is interested in the same things as you, but knows when to get feisty. Good luck finding that perfect balance between the girl who supports the same sports team as you, is thrilled at the idea of playing WoW with you, and is open to a heated debate on the merits of Marvel Vs. DC.
4 She doesn't get angry (or, not much)
As Gillian Flynn pointed out, 'cool girl' is understanding. She doesn't get angry, doesn't scream, and of course isn't at the mercy of her hormones. If there were a 'cool guy' stereotype, we're sure most girls would go after this too.
Perhaps for men, this 'cool girl' cliché is more about finding a partner who has the same argumentation style as you? And (women of the world can only hope?) less about making women feel guilty and gaslit when they get passionate? Nobody likes a grumpy partner, and constant fits of anger are downright unliveable, so a 'cooler' approach inarguably makes for a cool girl.
3 She has her own life
'Cool girl' is independent, and doesn't rely on her partner to make a life for her. Reasonable enough; after all, having no life outside the partner dynamic will only lead to an unhealthy co-dependence and no way out if a way out is needed.
How does 'cool girl' maintain her independence? She's ambitious, she's fiscally autonomous, and she has her own set of friends and priorities outside of her primary romantic attachments. Like many other standards of 'cool', this one certainly applies to the cool guy - no cool girl wants a clinger.
2 She's good around the house
While a certain breed of man will inevitably respond to this one with a 'get back in the kitchen' or predictable sandwich joke, this 'cool girl' requirement isn't actually an entirely misogynistic and dated ideal.
When a modern couple shack up together, it's expected that both parties will bring something to the table - literally. House chores shouldn't be the reserve of one or other members of the couple, and the 'princess' mentality is almost the complete antithesis of the cool girl attitude. A 'cool girl' is prepared to do her share of the house chores, but she'll expect her partner to be equally involved.
1 She's your friend
Because when it comes down to the crunch, your friends are cool. Whatever you believe is cool is, fundamentally, a subjective judgement. The people with whom you choose to surround yourself, both in terms of friends and romance, will be the people you really find cool. You have fun with that person, you likely share a similar base of interests, and you work out misunderstandings in a mutually respectful way.
So if you're friends with that girl, then you can be certain she's cool, by your definition. And that's the only one that really matters.