I must admit I became interested in being intellectual when I reached sixteen. Before that, all that mattered was ballet, boys and friends. Don’t take me wrong, I loved school and got good grades (I feared my mom enough to know what was good for me), but, at fifteen, life just runs its course and takes you into boy-crazy town. But even then, I wasn’t just another bimbo. As the rambler I’ve always been, my game was composed of long conversations (of the IM Messenger type) and word-vomit about me, myself and I. It was one of the early signs that I would turn to writing later.
But as I became a less ignorant teenager, school started to hold a greater meaning for me. By the time 11th grade came around, I had become friends with Andrea, who I call my “free spirit” because she is the feminist I wish my mom had been. Her influence in my life started to show at sixteen, when reading “The Time Traveler’s Wife” was far more endearing than talking about boys. Although, I couldn’t quite let go off my boy-crazy days, I found a nice balance between the two, which to my surprise garnered more attention from the opposite sex.
At only seventeen, I received my first compliment on being outspoken and smart from a guy. We had known each other for years and he was about to become my boyfriend, so it made sense that just now he would make the astounding comment: “You know, I’ve always admired you because you have dreams, opinions and you can talk about parties while still being interested in books”. While his admiration of my dreams turned out to be a fake, I learned one thing thanks to his confession (fake or not). I would never cease to be me for a man. Lesson learned.
Disastrous relationship aside, I cannot help but contemplate the growing amount of girl who certainly do not care about who wrote the “Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions” or what the “BOOM!” means in terms of 20th century literature, but instead glorify Kim Kardashian and base their lives on the amount of likes they get per picture. The fact that Kim Kardashian is now a porn star turned millionaire mom speaks profoundly of the role models young girls are choosing. I wish somehow they would focus on someone like Natalie Portman, who once expressed that she went to Harvard to study psychology, although she was already a millionaire, because she declined to be just another dumb movie star. “I’d rather be smart”, she said. You go, Natalie!
Before you flip out, I’m not saying putting your intellectual force to use should be restricted to matters of dating. Totally the opposite. It’s about pairing your brain to your mouth and knowing that interesting conversations are, not only fun and stimulating, but the biggest gift you could give yourself. What’s more impressive than you knowing who Noam Chomsky is at Communication Theory class when the professor asks openly and you are the only one who raises her hand? (That happened to me, FYI)
Three years after Andrea’s feminist mind changed mine, I have experienced many compliments on how well-versed I am and how I know who Julio Cortazar is. I manage to still garner attention from the opposite sex and from college professors alike. Though I am no role model, I can speak for the female community who puts knowledge over beauty any day of the week. Mark Twain said that clothes make the
man human, but what is a full-clothed homosapiens without a brain? Just make evolution a favor and stimulate that mass, will you?