Minus The City: First Impressions

It’s a shame, but there’s really no avoiding it. When meeting new people, we all make lasting judgments based off of first impressions. Those impressions can make or break any potential relationship we have with a person, whether it be romantic or friendly. Consciously or unconsciously, we’re all looking for particular stereotypes to fit people into so as to delude ourselves into thinking we “understand” who they are and, more importantly, what we can get from them. Everybody does it, and if you think you don’t, you’re tricking yourself into feeling morally superior to the majority.

The problem with this behavior in the romantic and sexual arena is that guys desire above all else three types of girls: The Slut, The Cool Girl, and The Manic Pixie Dream Girl – and these tropes don’t exist. They’ve been invented by pop culture and media, fantasies of a male-dominated Hollywood that now seek to make real women as one-dimensional as possible. Though you may not realize it, you know exactly the girls I’m talking about. The Slut is hot and promiscuous, that’s really all you need to know. The Cool Girl is also hot, hangs with the guys, loves hockey/football/1970’s films, eats a whole pizza by herself but remains a size two, oh and, by the way, she has a perfect SAT score. Last but not least, we have our Manic Pixie Dream Girl. She’s absolutely adorable, vaguely resembles a Disney princess, all her bracelets have an elaborate back story and she’s here to help you realize your full potential, with a relationship built on quirky dates and indie movies.

They’re like a disappointing Breakfast Club crew that doesn’t befriend the basket case at the end of the movie. Guys love the idea of them because these girls demand nothing in return for the services they provide, which isn’t reflective of any real relationship. Every girl at Colgate is being sized up each day, evaluated on whether or not she meets the criterion for one of these labels. Joining “The Club” sucks because you’re no longer a human in the eyes of the beholder; you’re an idea that fits a mold. It hurts just as much to not be one of these tropes, because men won’t pay you any mind, so it’s quite common for girls to force themselves into one of the labels for the gratification of male attention. As long as girls try to embody these mythical characters it will be impossible to wake the male population up from the dream world they exist in. It’s a problem with no easy answer, but as long as the stereotypes reign, relationships will continue to fall apart when women can’t achieve these stereotypes and men realize their fantasy isn’t real.

Until then Colgate, eat my shorts. “Don’t You Forget About Me” plays as I walk across Whitnall Field.