“I hope she’ll be a fool—that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.”
Daisy Buchannan says these words in Chapter One of The Great Gatsby. Her daughter is going to be a woman born into money and class, the expectations on her are going to be immense, and if she knew, if she could see all of the problems with her life and with her world, it could break her. So it’s better she’s an empty fool, just listening to her dad and her mom.
This sentiment still stays here today, in the modern world. There’s a positive outlook on girls who are pretty but stupid, just marrying into money to be a housewife. The expectation is for women to just be empty-headed and pretty. There’s always the media reacting with surprise and pride when the wives of wealthy husbands are able to do something on their own, or have some intellectual outreach. They’re expected to have charities, but rarely do those charities focus on intellectual matters.
Women of all eras have had these expectations, and Daisy puts it out in the open to be seen. “The best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.” Even one hundred years later, there’s truth in that statement. It’s the easiest life to have as a girl, to just be pretty and thin and marry into money.