The idea that sorority girls are stupid is not a new one. Blondes with big boobs have seemingly always been portrayed in Hollywood as the bimbo, and since sorority girls are blondes with big boobs (sometimes), that stereotype has seamlessly attached itself to us as well.
One obvious reason is because sorority girls are pretty. Not always, I don’t want to offend you and tell you you’re pretty if you’re not, but generally, we select the cream of the crop, and that often entails some level of attractiveness. Unfortunately, we live in a world where people think it’s impossible to be pretty and smart at the same time — and even a world in which being “pretty” is an insult to some people, because they baselessly take it to mean that their beauty is the only thing people care about. If you ask me, that’s a fucking idiotic thing to get upset about, but people do.
Still, neither of those are the reason people think you — yes, you — are stupid. People hear the stereotypes about sorority girls, but very few believe them to be true. I think most people can take it on a case by case basis, but the fact of the matter is, people still think you’re stupid, because you sound stupid.
I’m not talking about the content of what you say, but literally (actually literally) how you say it.
You Fry Your Vocals
Vocal fry is described as a creaky, tired voice, and it’s all over the place. and it feels so natural sometimes that you probably don’t even notice it, but the only people who fry their vocals are the basics. That’s us! It sounds like this (make sure to click the sound icon on desktop, just click the gifs and turn your sound up on mobile):
You’re probably doing this without even realizing it, but start to notice it and you won’t be able to stop noticing it. If you think this is bad for you, it is. But not just that, it makes you sound dumb! You sound tired and your vocals sound lazy (because it’s how people sound when they’re tired and lazy), and none of that lends itself to sounding intelligent, unfortunately.
You Use Uptalk And Have A Whacky Cadence
Any time someone tries to explain uptalk, they say it sounds like you’re asking a question, because you go up at the end of your sentences. In truth, you go up almost every time you pause. When people try to imitate uptalk, it’s so overly exaggerated that you don’t believe you possibly sound this way. But…you probably sound this way. We did.
When you use uptalk, you sound like you’re asking a question. Since it’s clear you’re not actually asking anything, it signals to the listener that you’re unsure of yourself. Being unsure of yourself? That makes you sound stupid.
You Use “Like” Excessively
When we use the word “like,” it hardly feels excessive, because we follow a set of rules when using the word, so it doesn’t feel arbitrary. It feels necessary.
We use it to mean two or more things are similar: “Is she like Blair or Serena?”
We use it to approximate: “It’s like 75 degrees out.”
We use it to downplay: “I, like, kind of want to go.”
We use it when we enjoy something: “I like that new T. Swift song.”
We use it to mean we have feelings for someone: “I kind of like him.”
We use it in place of the word “said,” and even “thought”: “I was like, ‘are you serious?'”
We use it in place of “for example”: “He’s perfect for me. Like he knows exactly how to cheer me up.”
And the list goes on. But as it goes on, we’re using the word “like” more and more. For most people, “like” is just a filler word, akin (not like!) to “umm” or “ya know?” And using filler words makes it sound as if you don’t have your thoughts fully formulated, or maybe that you don’t know what you’re talking about.
I don’t think there’s a scientific reason why this sounds stupid. It just does.
You Downplay What You Say
It’s so classic of women to say “I feel like we should go to dinner later.” We always feel and never think, and subtly, it makes you sound more emotional and less logical. More often than men, women will also say things on a group project such as “This is just my opinion, but I think we should try to lengthen our powerpoint.” Or “I think our answer for number four might be wrong, but I don’t know.” You do know. But when you downplay yourself and express that you’re not confident in your own words, how is anyone else supposed to be?
A lot of this isn’t fair. The higher your voice, likely, the dumber you sound. And you can’t control things like that. BUT, you’re not the only group with this cross to bear. Anyone with a thick southern accent, a thick Boston accent, a thick New York accent, a thick foreign accent or a thick valley accent? People think they’re stupid too. And that’s basically everyone. And it sucks, because changing the way you speak AND the words you use is no easy task. But it can be done, and if you’re dedicated to changing how you’re viewed, you need to make sure you’re acting…and speaking in alignment with how you view yourself. Make them hear your words, not just your voice..
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