Dumb It Down, Girl

Copyright: Mean Girls (2004)

You know the type.  Glazed-over eyes, often seen twirling hair around a finger and obnoxiously chomping on a gigantic piece of pink bubble gum.  And thinking that buffalo have wings.

The entertainment industry has given us countless examples of the “dumb girl.”  She’s everywhere in movies, sitcoms, and reality shows.  She’s usually bubbly, gullible, blonde (sorry all you girls with the golden hair), big-chested, often can’t spell or read, and relies on her looks to get her through life.  Movies and reality tv exaggerate these stereotypes and sadly, women in the world start exhibiting these characteristics because their favorite characters act a certain way.

Now, I honestly don’t believe that these girls are stupid.  I really don’t.  It’s all an act and I’ve never quite fully understood the need for it.  Unfortunately, I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve seen women play dumb in real life when they are anything but.

And it works.

Pretending to be a moron can get you out of parking tickets (I’m sorry, officer.  Was that a stop sign?), bad dates (I’ll have the tuna.  I love sea chicken!), and work assignments (Did my mistake really cost the company thousands?  Whoopsie!).  It can help excuse you when you say or do something inappropriate.  Hell, it can even snag a man.

I have spoken with dozens of guys as to why so many of them seem to end up with the girl who can name every Real Housewife, but wouldn’t know who the Secretary of State is (Hillary Clinton — a blonde and so not a dumb girl).  The one thing I have heard repeatedly is this: they like to feel like they’re taking care of their girl.  Men like to be needed and will sooner set their sights on the helpless-but-adorable girl who will never be a Jeopardy contestant than they would a successful, educated woman who is slightly less attractive because she can take care of herself.

Does that mean all us single gals should resort to using “like” in every sentence and pretend to be less intelligent than we are just to make men like us?  Absolutely not!  There is no need to ever pretend to be something you’re not to attract a mate, especially if that means acting like you’ve lost a few I.Q. points.  If you were magna cum laude but can’t find your way around a carburetor, embrace what you know and get help for what you don’t.

I find that women tend to have a slightly different take on dumb girls in their posses.  In most circles of female friends, there will no doubt be one lady that all the others classify as the “dumb one.”  She may not know it, but behind her back, her friends discuss how she could be so lacking in common sense.  They bond over their shared dislike of her valley girl antics and the jealousy that ignites when guys fawn all over her on girls’ night out.  This girl is usually a ton of fun and the glue that holds the group together.  Despite how much her silly comments drive her friends crazy, they love her because she has found a way to be herself and it works for her.  Plus, she can usually score free drinks for her entire group.

Some people think that a dumb girl is simply one that is not intelligent and lacks common sense.  Make no mistake, a dumb girl is a girl who acts like she’s an idiot when she really isn’t.  She knows the difference between March of the Penguins and Happy Feet, but she pretends to think that all penguins can really sing and dance.

Now, I have never defined myself as a feminist—though I do believe that women should receive equal pay for equal work and should in no way be held inferior to men simply because they possess a vagina—but it irritates the living beejezus out of me when I see capable women acting like bimbos for attention.  It’s one thing to play dumb when you need to get out of a sticky situation, but it’s another when it is your entire state of being and you have lost all sense of rhyme or reason.

Remember, there is a time and place to wear your dunce cap.  Use it sparingly.

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