Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Pity the smart attractive girls 

In an article in TNR Online about the show Alias, Rebecca Onion talks about how hard it must be for teenage girls who are both smart and attractive:

Girls as smart and capable as Sydney experience a sort of "double consciousness," in the lexicon of W.E.B. Dubois. As with African Americans torn, in DuBois's words, between being "an American, a Negro; two warring souls," there's not really an acceptable model of how to be both a smart girl and also attractive and un-intimidating. Instead, most smart girls spend their high school years hiding test papers, laughing at jokes they don't find funny, and selling themselves short with boys who don't deserve them. What you end up with is two girls: the girl herself, the "American," who knows inside that she'd rather be reading or writing or playing around in a chem lab; and the other girl, the "Negro," who wants to be pretty, date the cutest boy, and have friends. The genius of "Alias" is to acknowledge both identities.
Well I'm shedding a tear for these girls. Too bad they can't the ugly girls who don't have to worry about "boys who don't deserve them" or the dumb girls who can just be themselves.
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