This Odyssey article asks guys to appreciate college girls for trying to impress them

Misogyny isn’t dead

Are you a woman attending a university in pursuit of a diploma, personal growth, and an enriching education? Well, turns out you don’t really need to worry about that, because the real point of going to college is to look good and find a man! Despite the fact that it’s 2017, this Odyssey Online article titled “10 Things College Girls Do That College Guys SHOULD Appreciate, But Don’t” insinuates not only that a girl’s entire purpose in life is to seek a guy’s affirmation, but that the path to impressing him is paved with make-up, nail polish, and fashionable clothing. Let’s take a look at some of a college girl’s most admirable qualities.

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First of all, on what planet are college girls expected to get their nails done every other week at a salon? Not only does it suggest that girls will prioritize mani pedis on their lists of expenditures, but it offensively assumes that most girls can afford to spend approximately $80 dollars a month on such a trivial beautifier. Sure, the author recognizes that it isn’t cheap, but still claims that girls “squeeze it into” their budget, again assuming that all college girls have extraneous money to spend as they please. Sorry, but not everyone has the privilege to afford this needless commodity. Also, in all of my personal experience, despite somehow surviving in a perpetually un-manicured state, I have never been “roasted” by a guy for my un-painted nails.

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Out of all the aspects of college life, which is the most stressful for a girl? Is it remembering to do laundry, balancing academics with extracurricular activities, making new friends, finding a community. According to this article, it's none of those things, but rather hair maintenance. Not only does this belittle women by claiming that their hair is their primary concern in life, but it also stereotypes them by assuming that they care about hair upkeep at all. Since when has physical appearance and attractiveness been the most important facet of a woman’s personhood? This narrow-minded perception of gender roles places both men and women into boxes, generalizing them without leaving any leg room for individualized expression.

The rest of the article includes having “on fleek” makeup, clear-skin, threaded-eyebrows, and white teeth. A college girl also should be commended for working out at the gym and hardly wearing the same stylish outfit twice! This portion of the list teems with misogyny:

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Again with the money, superficiality, and sexism. What about all the college girls who don’t go to frat parties, don’t like boys, don’t have instagram, and/or don’t have the money to afford an $100 outfit?

In her own way, I do think that the author is trying to empower women, such as when he says, “I challenge any guy to go get his eyebrows threaded and then try to tell me beauty isn’t pain. We as girls are waxed from head to toe and take the pain like the bad Bs that we are!!” Yet, sadly, she does not seem to realize that she undercuts her own attempt at empowerment by capitulating to male beauty standards: “We make sure that our pearly whites are as white as possible and have that flawless smile that all the boys are looking for.” A truly empowering article would focus on women’s internal strength, character, and intelligence, and not the whiteness of her teeth. Why does it take until number 8 on the list to mention female intelligence, and why is it still in terms of her beauty?

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You might be thinking ‘Yes! There’s finally a reference to some substantial female qualities,’ but the caveat is that it is still in terms of attracting men.

As a freshman girl in college working through my first semester, I understand just as well as anyone that balance can be difficult and appreciation can feel awesome. However, college is a time for us to discover our individual identities and is about learning to conduct ourselves and make choices based on what we want for ourselves and not based on what we think guys want us to be. So, if you’re a college girl who happened to fall upon this Odyssey article, just remember that superficial traits, societal standards, and guys' perceptions do not define your college experience. You do.

Brown University