Cosmopolitan August 2018 - Page 26

Editor’s Letter AN OPEN LETTER TO SMART WOMEN Recently, I came across a wonderful finding: men who marry smart women live longer, happier lives. Having an intelligent, ‘mentally challenging’ wife can help protect dudes against degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. Nice...pop open a bottle of rosé, honey, let’s discuss the symbolism in The Unbearable Lightness of Being. Then, an ironical twist: multiple studies say that men are intimidated by women who they believe to be smarter than them. Sure, they may like the idea of an intelligent woman, but only in theory. When given a chance to actually date them, they rated brainy babes as less desirable, and saw women with high intelligence as ‘problematic’. Same story for more successful, financially independent women, in case you were wondering. And then comes this Shakespearean tragedy: girls in all-female schools perform better at ‘geeky’ subjects like math and science, than their co-ed sisters, likely because of negative gender stereotypes attached to these topics. Years later, as adults, many highly educated or accomplished women have confessed to ‘dumbing down’ for guys, so dudes can feel more ‘masculine’ and less intimidated. This hurts my heart. Because at a time when we are rooting for more girl bosses and equal relationships, pretending to be stupid is the butchering of feminism. Because we have to stop feeding the preposterous myth that a woman’s beauty is more important than her brain. Because when you pander to a man’s insecurities by hiding your opinions or interests, you are being inauthentic and selling yourself short. And because intelligence is a virtue, and by discounting it, you are doing a disservice to yourself and women of the world. There are millions of little girls who wish they could get an education but aren’t allowed to. There are the women be fore you, who fought for your right to study and vote and work. And there is the woman that you are, who stood up to prejudices and outdated societal expectations of how women must behave. I could extrapolate for days, but the bottom line is this: don’t downplay your achievements or successes to make a guy like you. Don’t bow to the pressure to conform. Don’t let people tell you that smart women are domineering or bossy or unsexy. The kind of guy who prefers lower-IQ women is hardly a guy worth dating. Can you imagine a life where you have to deny your brilliance and maintain a facade of silliness, just so your partner’s ego is intact? Smart, secure men—the ones on the other side of the study fence (hello, George Clooney), know that the best kinds of relationships are the intellectually stimulating ones. And when he meets an exceptional woman like you, he’ll have a long, fulfilling life to go with it. Until next month, Nandini Bhalla, Editor Follow me on Instagram: nandinibhalla 5 THINGS I’M LOVIN‘ RIGHT NOW Warning: lame quip ahead. This ‘bee tee’ by Anand Bhushan, `15,000, is such a beauty (I know, I know). Seriously, though, it’s the perfect partner to a pair of jeans. Give me anything embellished, and I’m on board. And these satin bow flats by Zara, `3,990, are just the comfy party shoes you need in your closet. Every girl needs that one top in her wardrobe that looks flattering and sexy with everything. I found my lobster in this one by Dhruv Kapoor, `22,000. Bonus: it works well for all body types. There’s something uniquely edgy about these simplistic floral earrings by Bohemian, `5,200. They’re so ’70s, yet so au courant. I’ve got my eye on this stunner of a skirt by Essé, `15,500—a statement piece with a gorgeous mish-mash of embroidery and sequins.