The Kenyon Girl

kenyon cool girl

Men always say that as the defining compliment, don’t they? She’s a Kenyon girl. Being the Kenyon Girl means I am a brunette, bespectacled, coastal elite who adores Peeps parties, Pinegrove, the Collegiate, and American Spirit cigarettes, who reads David Foster Wallace, drinks Natty Lights, is friends with all of the Fools but not in the Fools, loves to hookup before ignoring each other on Middle Path, and jams Peirce grilled cheeses and VI spinach and artichoke dip into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest Peircegiving while somehow fitting into the same cuffed jeans, because Kenyon Girls are above all hot. Hot and quirky. Kenyon Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Kenyon Girl.

Men actually think this girl exists. Maybe they’re fooled because so many women are willing to pretend to be this girl. For a long time Kenyon Girl offended me. I used to see men – friends, classmates, strangers – giddy over these awful pretender women, and I’d want to sit these men down and calmly say: You are not dating a woman, you are dating a woman who has read too many books written by John Green, who’d like to believe that this kind of woman exists and might kiss him. I’d want to grab the poor guy by his lapels or DFTBA messenger bag and say: Margo doesn’t really love paper towns that much – no one loves paper towns that much!

And the Kenyon Girls are even more pathetic: They’re not even pretending to be the woman they want to be, they’re pretending to be the woman a guy who has a SoundCloud wants them to be. Oh, and if you’re not a Kenyon Girl, I beg you not to believe that your man doesn’t want the Kenyon Girl. It may be a slightly different version – maybe he’s a swimmer, so Kenyon Girl loves going to the KAC and always eats on Old Side; or maybe he’s in an a cappella group, so Kenyon Girl is a Disney-loving, pin-wearing drama major who still knows every word to Hamilton. There are variations to the window dressing, but believe me, he wants Kenyon Girl, who is basically the girl who likes every fucking thing he likes and doesn’t ever complain.

(How do you know you’re not Kenyon Girl? Because he says things like: “I like strong women.” If he says that to you, he will at some point fuck someone else, probably after mulliganing a 100 level Women’s and Gender Studies course. Because “I like strong women” is code for “I hate strong women.”)


Adapted from Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

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