What I learned from being an "It Girl"
Ever since I was little, I wanted to be the It Girl. We all know the It Girl. The It Girl is the girl that every guy wants, and that every other girl wants to be. She’s the definition of perfect, from her appearance to her personality to the effect she has on guys. She’s perfect; the It Girl has absolutely no flaws.
The It Girl takes many forms for many different groups of people. Some guys want the kind of girl who balances being an achiever, an athlete, and is unfairly flawless looking. Other guys want the kind of chill, laidback girl who likes to party and is always down for anything. And some guys want a cute girl that shares their passion for comic books/movies and either plays video games with them, or watches them do it.
Long story short: The It Girl comes in many shapes in sizes, but she’s still the It Girl. And the It Girl is to be feared and envied.
My freshman year of high school, I decided to kick my butt into gear and become the It Girl. I was going to become the Patron Saint of Nerdy Guys in Suburbia. I was determined to get a boyfriend, to be the dream girl of his friends, and to have every single girl envy me.
Of course, I had to play to my strengths. No way was a girl with a face that belonged in the 1940s going to meet the standards of beauty of modern America. Plus, I was in no way an athlete, and sports bored me to no end. I didn’t understand football, but I did understand the endocrine system, so I was not at all down to party hard. That left one group open — the immature, nerdy guys that I socialized with most.
The action plan was simple: Binge watch Marvel movies on Netflix, read as many comics as I could check out from the library, research offensive jokes, and stream tons of video game videos on YouTube. It worked out swimmingly, and by the time band camp rolled around, I took my spot on the throne of It Girl.
Being the It Girl was a dream come true. Middle school had left me with a destroyed self-esteem and no faith in guys at my school as potential suitors. My last boyfriend had left me for the laidback It Girl. The guy before that left because he was in love with my best friend. And (worst of all) the guy before him cheated on me with three different girls. Being the It Girl was everything I needed: being “better” than girls, but also being desired. Being the prize.
As the It Girl, I had the world at my feet. I always had someone to talk to, and I always had a guy that wanted me. I was free to pick and choose, as long as I kept up appearances. Meanwhile, I started to fall in love with the comic book universe, which made me that much happier.
But it was hard. It was ridiculously hard to be the It Girl. I had to actually try to be cute. I had to remember every single thing about every single last video game and movie and comic ever. These are prime examples of first world problems, I know, but it was genuinely hard. I wanted to be perfect, and I thought that being the It Girl was going to be easy to maintain.
I also didn’t realize how dispensable I was. I didn’t realize that I could be replaced super easily, and no one would actually care who the It Girl was, just as long as there was one. As an It Girl, you had two options; you either maintained the status under enormous pressure, or a successor was found for you. And though it seems the world is never that cut and dry, the two options once you’re an It Girl were.
My sophomore year, I was successfully dethroned as the nerdy It Girl. I was replaced by a freshman who was a combination of the It Girl that knew everything about everything nerdy and the It Girl who had huge breasts and was super lax. She was inherently flawless, at least in the temporary scheme of the high school caste system.
Honestly, I was envious. I was envious and desperate to reclaim my former glory. I did everything but beg and steal to get those guys to find me attractive again. Even though I knew how much it sucked trying to maintain my status, how much pressure was on me to be consistently perfect, and how awful it felt to be completely abandoning myself, I still wanted to be the It Girl again. I wanted to be perfect and desired.
At the same time, I was relieved. I no longer had to work, and I could become myself again. Instead of being able to list every Pokémon or to have a mental encyclopedia of every superhero ever created, I focused more on my writing, my horseback riding, and the scientific theories that I had put on the backburner. It felt good to be pure, unfiltered me again, and so I decided to let it go. I decided that I wasn’t even going to try to be the It Girl anymore. I focused on my own happiness.
Post-dethroning, I became an observer. I observed other girls trying to make guys like them. I saw them giving up how funny, intelligent, and fierce they were to impress some guys that they would never see after they graduated. It was depressing to watch, and then I realized that I was that girl once.
The thing about being an “It Girl” is that every single last girl in the world is an “It Girl.” I know it sounds cheesy, but the whole “It Girl” thing doesn’t actually exist, because there’s someone in the world who you are perfect for. Someone who will let you be silly with them and who won’t judge you when you mouth-harass a Chipotle burrito. You are flawless, and you shouldn’t change to be desired.
And you know what? You shouldn’t change yourself to begin with. The guys who want you will want you for who you are, not for who you try to be. Don’t succumb to the pressure of impressing people that are temporary. Don’t lose yourself because you want a boyfriend. Guys who don’t want you for you aren’t worth your time and effort.
Long story short? Don’t change to be the “It Girl” because the “It Girl” doesn’t exist. Wear makeup and nice clothes for you. Read comics and watch movies for you. Don’t waste your money trying to fit a stereotype. That’s money that you could be spending on Ben & Jerry’s, which is almost always better than high school boys anyways. (Image via The CW.)