Why I no longer wish to be Blair Waldorf

By The Beacon | April 3, 2014 1:25am


McKena Miyashiro |

During winter break, I allowed myself to binge-watch “Gossip Girl” with a tub of Ben & Jerry’s by my side.

While watching, I found myself awestruck at the excess in the character’s lives. Seeing these characters go through their days partying, shopping and attending fancy charity events made me feel a bit of contempt towards my own life.

But six seasons later, I found myself wanting to be as elegant, gorgeous, and of course as wealthy as the main character, Blair Waldorf. In my sleep-deprived, binge-watching-hypnotized  state, I frantically looked up a list of colleges with the highest paid graduates. On that list, I noticed my best friend’s neighboring college took the number one spot: Harvey Mudd College.

My friend attends Scripps College, an all-girls college near Harvey Mudd. As my best friend, she, too, loves “Gossip Girl.” I talked to her about my quest for wealth and my longing to be Blair Waldorf.

Her response? “Everyone at Scripps knows to get a Mudd guy.”

I found myself jealous of my gorgeous best friend and her easy access, statistically speaking, to wealthy men.

I thought to myself, “If I marry someone wealthy, I can be like Blair Waldorf.”

I don’t want to sound like I only care about being rich. But let’s be honest with ourselves: Who doesn’t like nice things?

Let’s fast forward to a few days ago, when I came across an article on Huffington Post discussing Susan Patton's latest book, "Marry Smart." Patton, known as the infamous "Princeton Mom,” has appeared on a multitude of TV news networks preaching to young women everywhere that while work will wait, fertility won't. She urges young women to focus their energy on achieving their Mrs. degrees by finding a suitable (read: wealthy) man on campus to find happiness.

My immediate reaction? Anger. I felt angry at Patton’s narrow mindset of gender roles. Why does she assume that women should find a man for wealth and happiness? Why does she assume that every woman wants to have children? Why does she assume that every woman is cisgendered (that is, she identifies as a woman and was born with a female body)? And why does she assume she has authority on saying what young women want for their lives?

Then it hit me. I realized I was her target audience. I started questioning myself. Why did I want to fill this stereotypical gender role? Why did I immediately think of marrying someone wealthy instead of relying on my own merit and talents? And why did I simplify happiness down to a numerical amount?

I’m taking a stand against Patton and I’m asserting my independence as a young woman. I am fighting against Patton’s stereotypical view of gender roles and her belief that marrying a  (wealthy) man equates to happiness.

For those of you that have found your perfect someone in college, I am happy for you. But for the rest of us who haven’t, why shouldn’t we be happy too? Don’t follow someone else’s timetable to find love or even feel the need to seek it out before you can love yourself for you.

Finally, my favorite quote from “Gossip Girl”: “Sometimes, you have to venture outside your world to find yourself. As for me? I’m happy right where I am.” Xoxo, (no longer dreaming) Gossip Girl.

McKena Miyashiro is a freshman sociology major. She can be reached at miyashir17@up.edu.