Why We Must Stop Categorizing Women And In Turn Lessening Their Worth

by Amy Byrne

So recently I discovered that I'm pretty second-rate, as far as girlfriends go. The Internet tells me that my boyfriend should want to date a girl who reads, a girl who travels or a girl who dances.

He should really be after a girl who runs, a girl with short hair, a girl who drinks beer or a girl who speaks another language, a girl who likes rock 'n' roll and a girl who eats.

It seems that partaking in each one of these activities will turn your average woman into every man’s fantasy chick. Not satisfied with your current SO? Maybe you should seek out one of the women you read about in a viral appeal to "date a girl who [insert choice of interest here]."

Never mind a woman who'll turn into the proverbial ball-and-chain, because there’s a whole batch of "girls who travel" who mince around in a cloud of their own wanderlust for you to snap up!

Or perhaps try a "girl who runs," who will be out there connecting with nature, complete with a flawless complexion for you to lay all your love on. And, the pièce de résistance, "date a girl who eats" -- because only these girls are chill, you know.

These girls will, of course, be as rake thin and doe-eyed as a Victoria's Secret model, but they will also be ready and raring to scarf down a steak, fries and dessert on date night. Them salad-munching chicas are just a bunch of high-maintenance betches, right?

Wrong. Oh, Internet, my fickle friend, forever confounding me with your ridiculous content. Whoever writes these articles needs a reality check.

My boyfriend dates a girl who reads, all right; I read Glamour cover-to-cover every month, scoffing at sex tips and shrieking every time the phrase "flaunted her curves" flashes into my line of vision.

He’s dating a girl who likes rock 'n' roll… in the sense that I like to get sweaty and smushed at gigs every once in a while, and I smoke occasionally.

My boyfriend dates a girl who eats, too. I analyze every menu before we go out to make sure there are enough vegan options. I also dance when I’ve had a few too many cheap cocktails in college bars.

I travel, but sadly my hair is not gracefully unkempt and my skin is not a deep, luscious brown because I like my blow dryer and my SPF 30, thank you very much.

Do I sound desirable to you? Probably not. But somehow, despite being partial to the odd pop song and a long(ish) haircut, I am desirable to someone. My boyfriend loves all my weird neuroses and gross habits. He loves me despite my limited knowledge of Dostoyevsky and in spite of the fact I’d rather eat "rabbit food" than a Philly cheesesteak.

Maybe other men wouldn’t. Maybe I’m high-maintenance because I’d prefer to buy a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc to a six-pack of Pabst. Maybe I’m uncultured because the extent of my linguistic skills is conversational French. Maybe I’m not serious enough about my health because I’d rather cycle or hike than run a marathon.

Now, girls who swig beer and speak six languages and run marathons are awesome and kickass, but can they really all be the same women we see in these nauseating lyrical essays?

These dream girls exist only when they’re waifing around in someone’s imagination. People aren’t squeaky-clean clichés; they are human.

Date a girl who reads books because she’s an awesome chick, not because you’ve been told by some half-baked essay that she’ll essentially be your very own little manic pixie dream girl (who also happens to be easier to gift for).

Date a girl who runs because you think she’s the sh*t, not because you’re chasing an idealistic notion of some outdoorsy, windswept nymph.

Date a girl with short hair because she is smart enough to know that this hairstyle suits her and would enhance her features, not because you’re dumb enough to think that it says something about her personality.

Date a girl who eats fries, a girl who eats salads, or a girl who eats fries and salads, because you only give a hoot what’s on your plate, not hers.

This mad trend for articles imagining ambiguously constructed fictional characters needs to end, pronto. The girls who fit in categories and exist in these viral articles exist only on the Internet.

The implied schism between women who do certain things and women who do not is as offensive as it is ludicrous. It attempts to classify a woman based on one small aspect of her existence: a hobby, a haircut, a penchant for hot dogs.

It's time to stop judging, defining and "other"-ing women based on their personal preferences. It's a very obvious love child of our growing obsession with vain ideologies, and cultural myths that attempt to whittle every facet of a woman's personality to something that can be easily digested and tamed.

Too many words? Maybe you shouldn't date a woman who writes.

Photo Courtesy: Tumblr