If there’s one thing ~the media~ has taught us, it’s that women can’t have it all. So women are endlessly pitted against each other, and these divisions turn into quasi personality tests. Maybe it’s misogyny, or maybe it’s all in good fun, who knows, probably a little of both.
Here are ten types of women based on real and fictional girl squads and rivalries.
1. Sex and the City
- Carrie: Pretty Normie. Carrie’s see themselves as the protagonist of the story. They also see themselves as exceptional but ultimately normal, as in representative of cultural norms. Only character trait is shopping.
- Charlotte: Kindly Prude. Endlessly well-mannered, but sexless. Would do well if she married into British royalty. (I have never met someone who self-identifies as a Charlotte…)
- Samantha: Hot-Blooded Femme Fatale. Sexy and salacious, a freak in the sheets and a freak in the free market. A curvaceous capitalist. Samantha’s are practical and vicious when they need to be, but fun-loving and romantic deep down.
- Miranda: Hardo Lawyer. The hardworking and logical one. Resents (but also partially likes?) being the grown-up of the group. Miranda’s are typically Carrie’s that have grown-up and realized they were Miranda’s all along.
2. Cardi B vs Nicki Minaj
- Nicki: Queen Bitch*. Calculating and exacting, maybe even cruel, but impeccably talented. Feared and respected.
- Cardi: Social Butterfly. Emotional and a little messy, but in a relatable and likable way. Has a few real enemies, but is altogether adored by the public.
3. Blair vs Serena
- Blair: Queen Bitch*. Works very hard to shape a social hierarchy with herself at the top. Proud and vengeful. Flouts all the rules, but would never dare get caught. Wants to be perfect.
- Serena: Effortless It Girl. Popular without trying and exceptionally beautiful. She could get away with murder but doesn’t have an evil bone in her body. Secretly wishes to be intellectual or talented.
4. Beyoncé vs Solange
- Beyoncé: Walking perfection. Has unending commercial appeal, but has struggled to break from her commercial tendencies to make art that feels honest to her. She will always win, which has her asking herself: now that I can have anything, what do I truly want?
- Solange: Walking self-actualization. Has limited commercial appeal but doesn’t give a damn. That limited commercial appeal caused her to turn inward and make art that feels honest to her; it is the greatest gift to her and her fans. Has a self-knowledge that exudes cool.
5. Gwyneth Paltrow vs Winona Ryder**
- Gwyneth: California Fairy. Blonde, thin, and beautiful in a West Coast kind of way. Into vaginal eggs, herbs, and social media. Has such a perfect life that she doesn’t even go through divorce, she goes through a “conscious uncoupling.”
- Winona: Dark Horse. Dark-haired and a little mousy, but it’s hot. She gives off vibes that she’s been traumatized, but won’t reveal how. A champion of weirdos and loners.
6. Jennifer Aniston vs Angelina Jolie
- Jennifer Aniston: Girl Next Door. Queen of the normies. Really pretty and pretty likeable. A nice popular girl. Probably likes playing sports. Every guy in school has had a crush on her at some point.
- Angelina Jolie: Sexy Humanitarian. A sensuous beauty who seems troubled. Has developed a strong moral compass and desires to be good, even though she’s got a bod for sin.
7. Mariah Carey vs Jennifer Lopez
- Mariah Carey: Aging Chanteuse. Talented to the gills; has never questioned that she was meant to do this. Got discovered young and learned how to do the least work possible while coasting on her legend status. Has been surrounded by her legend for so long that she’s a little out of touch with reality.
- Jennifer Lopez: Polished Baddie. Not untalented, but doesn’t have any specific skill to write home about. Does not rest on her laurels; works her ass off to maintain legendary status. Is a little too in touch with what’s popular to have anything signature about her work.
8. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
- Lena: Beautiful Virgin. Pretty but prudish, cannot talk about sex without blushing but thinks about it all the time. Shy and artistic.
- Bridget: Leggy Hottie. Hot and sporty. Loves running. Has hair that always looks good, no matter what. Happy-go-lucky most of the time but also prone to bouts of intense emotion.
- Carmen: Thorny Writer. Intellectual but down-to-earth about it. Doesn’t totally feel like she fits in anywhere, a perspective that makes her lonely but insightful.
- Tibby: Aggressive But Soft-Hearted Alt-girl. Has artificially colored hair. Went through a long tomboy phase. Dresses alternative and has a love/hate relationship with the attention she gets from it.
9. Paris Hilton vs Kim Kardashian
- Paris Hilton: Blonde Heiress. Plays dumb and pretty in place of having a personality. Thin as a rail and very blonde; the pinnacle of 2000’s beauty. Gets a lot of credit for being a “businesswoman” for doing a middling job at leveraging her family wealth.
- Kim Kardashian: Savvy Brunette. Curvaceous and not afraid to use it. Plays up her more ethnic-looking features, despite being a full-on Caucasian; the pinnacle of 2010’s beauty. Not naturally gifted in the intellect department but incredibly business-savvy and hardworking.
10. Hilary Clinton vs Sarah Palin
- Hilary Clinton: Establishment Hardo. Intelligent and hardworking but deeply un-cool. Sort of like a grown-up hall monitor. Will do a damn good job of keeping the system working, but will never really challenge the core beliefs of that system.
- Sarah Palin: Lipstick Mommy. Kind of hot, but dumb, and empowered to be dumb by the niche of people who share her beliefs. Definitely an anti-vaxxer. Will challenge the system, but in a way that just makes your head hurt from trying to process the stupidity.
*I know these are are the same, but think about it, it makes sense.
**Pairing courtesy of Alana Massey’s essay, “Being Winona; Freeing Gwyneth: On the Limitations of Our Celebrity ‘Type’”
So ladies, are we Blairs or Cardis? Lenas or Kims? Is this exercise as reductive as media portrayals of women? Probably! In doing this exercise did I find that there are only three or four types of women Hollywood allows us to be? Yes I did! But the most important lesson of all is this: if one woman is blonde and another woman is brunette, they are automatically enemies.
is still figuring it out.