The problem was that I was not chill. And I hated it. I yearned to be unburdened from the anxieties of caring and to revel in the magnetism of a breezy attitude. This cultural need to pathologize women who not only take the reins of their identity but also openly engage the full range of their feelings—you know, as a healthy human being tends to—remains a fraught battle as old as time. We are each so deliciously complex and messy; what better way to pay homage to these multiplicities than to feel, to express, and to carve out space to navigate as our purest self? So today and the days to come, I wish for a speedy death to the chill girl within all of us, a kiss of death to the malleable shell of ourselves surviving only on our socialized compulsion to people please. And a long and fruitful life to the woman who has patiently been waiting underneath.
But you read Gone Girl , you probably know that women feel a lot of pressure to be low-maintenance, high-fun, and generally sans-need. Men appear to feel no such pressure. A lot of you guys even appear over-chilled and staunchly committed to basketball shorts despite all sartorial advice. Although manchill stops with crushes and along with the movie The Dark Knight.
According to Tinder, there is an contagion sweeping across the country. This is something far more sinister. Like Transylvanians draping themselves in garlic to fend off vampires, the men of Tinder drape these words across their profiles in an attempt to ward bad the scariest monster of all: the high-maintenance girl. The high-maintenance girl is an aberration because she arrogantly flouts her primary role as a woman: to be accommodating. We must abide by strict guidelines: be beautifulbut not altogether about your looks, be smartbut not a know-it-all, and be nicebut not too nice or people will abide advantage of you. How much allow we put up with in the name of chill? In college, I was chill. I mean, my insides were a rat king of anxiety and self-loathing, but I was aloofness.