“Men always say that as the defining compliment, don’t they? She’s a cool 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. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, sh– on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl.”
—Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
If you’ve read Flynn’s twisty thriller—and really, if you haven’t, what exactly are you waiting for?—then you’re familiar with the passage quoted above. Though it takes up only a tiny portion of Gone Girl‘s 432 pages, Flynn’s “Cool Girl” rant has taken on a life of its own, inspiring scholarly analysis and takedowns and even an outcry from people who don’t think it’s represented well in David Fincher’s feature adaptation, which is out in theaters today.
But even those who love the Cool Girl speech know that while Flynn may have named this trope, she certainly didn’t invent it. Women who, to quote Buzzfeed’s Anne Helen Petersen, “act like a dude but look like a supermodel” have been burping across movie and TV screens for decades—especially during the bro-aissance of the past 10 or so years. But which of these beer-swilling, sports-loving, superhumanly accommodating women is the Ultimate Cool Girl? We dove deep to find out. (Spoiler: There’s more than one.) READ FULL STORY