Hot Mess Syndrome

Why High Achieving Women Pretend Their Lives are in Shambles (Kelli María Korducki)

The Cool Girl, boyish and feckless while conventionally hot, makes us want to either befriend her or bed her. The Hot Mess, on the other hand, endears us to her neuroses. But the two archetypes are rooted in the same basic belief: that to be visible in the world as a high-achieving, creative woman, you’d best be a little bit of a fuck-up.

On account of her smarts and circumstances, the Hot Mess gets that her success needs to look a little bit like an accident in order not to garner resentment. Her messiness is equal parts internalized misogyny and compensatory measure.

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