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Vanessa Dunne Headshot

Smart Is Still Sexy

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In a society where women are pressured to use their sexuality to be successful, it seems almost impossible to grab attention by being classy. As a junior in college, all too often I see my peers dressing in shorts and crop tops when it's snowing outside, or walking a mile to a party in stiletto heels. While it is fun to go out in college and dress up with your girlfriends, a lot of times I have found that my peers are pushing the envelope when it comes to dressing up to go out and looking just downright trashy.

Actually, some aren't pushing the envelope, they're downright ripping it apart.

Some nights I would much rather curl up in bed and read a book while sipping some tea, and I'm okay with that. Some nights I'd rather sit on the couch and watch the breaking news as to why the government shut down and how that affects me, instead of walking in the cold to a party where the debate is which rap song to play next.

If you haven't already, first watch this video of Ashton Kutcher at the 2013 Teen Choice Awards. You can do so here.

I understand it is the Teen Choice Awards, and the video is a few months old, but Ashton has a very good point. A point that is still incredibly relevant to us millennials. Point one: "Opportunity looks a lot like work", point two: "Smart is Sexy" and point three: "Build a Life." The rest is crap.

What I've noticed is that a lot of people just wait for opportunities to happen; they expect that the world will give them what they want. This is incredibly untrue. The world doesn't owe you anything. When one gets involved in the community or goes to the "Student's Making a Difference" club meeting at school, or even applies for a job or an internship, they create opportunities for themselves. Networking does wonders and it landed me an internship in Los Angeles right out of my freshman year of college. I don't know many other students who have had that opportunity.

Being smart is still sexy. Most guys would rather be with a girl who can have an intellectual conversation instead of a girl who can shotgun three beers in a row. Sometimes I lose a little faith that women my age are so caught up in the "now" that they forget to be classy. We are women! If we go around dressing provocatively and acting out, what makes it bad for society to be degrading towards us? To be respected as a woman we must act like women. Also, something I've realized is the more you strive to be intellectual, the better you feel about yourself. Yes, reading books and reading the politics section of The Huffington Post will make you feel better about yourself because you actually know what's going on in the world around you. You can have discussions with peers about world affairs, the current state of the government or about how you just finished reading Jane Eyre.

Society tries to tell us that we have to live in its world, but we don't. We don't have to give into the pressure to be skinny and photoshopped. We don't have to give into the standards that women are supposed to stay home and clean the house all day. We live in a time where we can live our lives how we want in order to be happy. If you want to backpack through Europe, go for it! The world has so much to offer, we might as well take advantage of it while we still can. We can have opinions, we can be whatever religion we want, we can live the life we want. So, create your life -- don't live up to the standards that society says you have to live up to.

"Everything else is crap. It's just crap that people try to sell you to make you feel like less. So don't buy it."

In the words of Ashton, "Be smart, be thoughtful and be generous."