Good for her meme

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Introducing the 'Good for Her' Cinematic Universe

In Gone Girl, Amy is compelled to follow her jobless husband, Nick, from the Big City to suburbia. When he fails to be the man she married and she strives to be beautiful, thin, perfect, and appeasing – only for him to find “A younger, bouncier Cool Girl” – her tirade begins.

Amy is a perfect concoction of villainy and female rage. She is a terrifying antagonist fueled by spite, rage and contempt as she meticulously fakes her own violent disappearance to seek revenge on her “lazy, lying, cheating, oblivious husband.” She marvelously pulls off one of the most successful missing person gags in the history of fiction. And she speaks some earth-splitting truths while doing it.

‘The Cool Girl’ Monologue is one of the most iconic monologues of the last decade, mainly due to how relatable it is. The monologue contains many truisms, like how women pretend to be someone they’re not in order to keep the peace in the relationship and to remain desirable to our male counterparts. How women swallow their truth in order to maintain a façade of being unbothered - or cool, so to speak. Like when Nick ditches Amy for a game of poker and doesn’t call or text for hours, and then when he comes home, Amy embraces him and says it’s okay.

Of course, it wasn’t okay. But she lied to keep up with the charade. And this is something we’re all taught to do from a young age. It can file itself under a hefty list of the times we have all made ourselves smaller in order for men to feel more comfortable.

But, her story isn’t supposed to feel good. Amy does a lot of horrible things to get what she wants, and at some point, Amy becomes the “girl who cried rape,” and that certainly doesn’t help the Me Too Movement. She’s not a feminist hero - I mean, she’s literally a psychopath.

When Amy gets everything she wants – her truth just lingers there. And it’s absolutely haunting, horrifying, and holds itself tight to your stomach. She has obliterated the cool girl and turned the strong female lead on its head, and all we can do is stare at the flames.

That’s when that small voice in the back of your mind chimes in.


We Need to Talk About the &#;Good for Her&#; Genre

Being very online means witnessing the very birth of trends and tropes, and getting to watch as they dominate popular culture. The term “good for her” was sparked by an infamous Arrested Developmentscene that went viral on Tumblr back in the mid s and has since become a monolith in internet meme culture. The first time I saw this meme associated with a film was in relation to Gone Girl. Someone posted a photo of the film&#;s iconic final shot of Amy Dunne beside the “good for her” meme. Since then, the “good for her” meme has birthed a subgenre of the same name. But what does this genre entail? And what happens when it’s used for the wrong reasons?

Since Amy Dunne’s creation in with Gillian Flynn&#;s original novel, the character has become a topic of debate. But this debate didn’t become popular until Dunne—played by Rosamund Pike—graced the screen in David Fincher’s adaptation. She’s striking in the film, delivering her lines with a cold and calculated precision even when she seems past the point of redemption. While she’s beautiful, Amy is also a vengeful and cruel murderer. To get back at her husband for cheating on her and being a shitty partner, Amy frames him for her murder. She breaks him down from afar, watching as the press destroys him, all as she sits back and watches with a smirk on her face. 

In the infamous Cool Girl monologue, Amy boasts, “Nick Dunne took my pride and my dignity and my hope and my money. He took and took from me until I no longer existed. That&#;s murder.” It’s a powerful monologue detailing the lengths women go to when pleasing the men in their lives, which is great—but because of this monologue, cinephiles online now hold Amy up as a symbol of modern-day feminism, which she just isn’t. She’s a symbol of white womanhood: she gets away with brutal crimes time and time again because she’s beautiful, rich, and white. Nothing about Gone Girl or Amy’s character should be celebrated, unless we’re talking about Gillian Flynn and David Fincher’s hand in crafting one of the best modern-day villains.

Most recently, the meme has been abused when referencing Ari Aster’s critically acclaimed Midsommar. When the film was released last summer, plenty of thinkpieceswere written about how the film is feminist in nature. Again, the “good for her” meme was used on Twitter as people mused that the film depicts a belittled and traumatized woman slowly regaining her autonomy. While it&#;s not hard to understand how some viewers came to this conclusion, there’s no doubt that Dani is being heavily influenced by the cult at the film&#;s center, so how can we celebrate this as a win for feminism? This is fully realized when Dani is crowned May Queen, and the members of the cult begin to treat her like royalty. It’s a ploy to make her feel safe within their ranks, and while some viewers see it as Dani finally finding some sense of control in her life, it’s anything but.

After her boyfriend meets his demise (with her approval), the film ends with a haunting shot of Dani smiling. It’s not a sweet smile, but one Aster himself described as the smile of someone who has &#;surrendered to a joy known only by the insane.&#; Dani has clearly been broken down by a white-supremacist cult throughout the course of the film; they’ve groomed her with praise, given her a false sense of family, and ultimately forced her to join their cult by murdering all her friends. This is not a powerful moment of feminist fury: it’s a heart-wrenching example of how cults prey on the fragile and weak. Using the “good for her” meme in this context, thus branding Midsommar as a feminist tale, is quite frankly false advertising. 

The “good for her” genre isn’t all bad, though. There are times when it’s used in ways which spark some kind of joy (Brian De Palma’s Carrie, Lisbeth Salander of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo franchise, and the women of superhero films), but this genre and its influences have slowly become something else entirely. More often than not, this genre weaponizes white womanhood and is only interested in traumatized and brutalized women. The conclusions to Amy and Dani’s character arcs are nothing to be celebrated, and viewers have lost touch with what these women truly represent. 

I highly doubt Gillian Flynn wrote Gone Girl with the intention of making Amy a feminist hero, as her calculated weaponization of her rage and white womanhood is exactly what makes her a villain. She knows she won’t be caught for what she has done. Dani’s character, meanwhile, is one we should sympathize with rather than hail as a representation of feminism in horror. A woman coerced into a white-supremacist cult is not a woman who is capable of enacting a heroic feminist move. The “good for her” genre is not something I see going away in the future, but one we must reexamine as time passes and cinema’s depiction of women continues to evolve. What started out as a fun signal of powerful women in cinema has slowly transformed into a skewed way to look at feminism in film. Instead of hailing films like Gone Girl or Midsommar as “feminist masterpieces” people should be focusing on films like The Invisible Man and Revenge, which are truly films about women once devoid of power defeating their abusers. Films with feminist undertones are not hard to come by, and we as cinephiles must be sure to not misconstrue the meaning of certain films just because beautiful white women are at the center of them.


By Kaiya Shunyata

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  1. I have been thinking about how people have totally misinterpreted gillian flynns work. Thanks for bringing further attention to this and the bigger context of the, as you aptly name it, &#;good for her&#; genre.

  2. I think the rise of the meme in the last year can easily be summed up in one word; &#;Joker&#;. Films with male antiheroes have long been a staple of filmbuffery, and I think JOKER, which was widely seen as as taking bits of acclaimed movies, putting it into a blender, and creating a fairly by-the-numbers movie, collectively caused people declare that archetype over, that white males cannot truly subvert a system they most benefit from. But something has to take its place, and so folks are looking for successors, and so the white *female* antihero is the next claimant. The criticism of white feminism has always been the aim of merely obtaining that last piece of the privilege puzzle, that the status quo is unjust for their personal lack of parity. I wonder if deep down it raises haunting question that people are heart selfish, and it is only want of opportunity that separates.

  3. So well stated!!! Any Dunne is the Tyler Durden for white women

  4. The person who wrote this article either didn’t pay attention to, or never watched Midsommar…

  5. I did not have a problem with most of this article, but the reference to race is not only highly inappropriate and unnecessary, but it just furthers the race-baiting that is tearing this country apart.

    Women who embody the &#;good for her&#; genre are not representative of any one race, despite depictions in media. This is perpetuating the &#;critical race theory&#; kind of thinking that everything bad is caused by or as a result of whiteness.

    Just really think about this for a second and let it sink in.. replace every mention of white in this article with black. Now does it sound racist?

    As a society, we need to stop looking through the lens of race or these wounds will continue to fester.

    1. It&#;s funny that you wrote about how inappropriate and unnecessary it is to reference race under an article talking about a movie about a white supremacist cult. That&#;s race baiting, when you bring up race when relevant? lol

      The structure of race reinforces the structure of gender. Women is not just a gender category, it is a racial one as well.

      Here is a link that talks about the masculization of black women being deliberate since slave times(making them father figures and caretakers, the dehumanization of black women, and the black community being matriarchal, and the missing father being white slave masters in AA history, ungendering.

      The first and second waves of feminist movements were rooted in whiteness. &#;It[first-wave feminism] was a movement predominantly organized and defined by middle-class, educated white women, and concentrated mostly on issues pertaining to them.&#;

      Wikipedia page of white feminism:

      White feminism link:

      And this because it&#;s sorely needed:
      Critical Race Theory:

      (Systemic racism won&#;t disappear if we don&#;t work towards dismantling it. It will continue to give the same racist results, whether or not its intentional by individual white or POC individuals or we rid all the racists. The existence of systemic racism is supported by piles and piles data, meta-analyses, etc. It makes no sense to bring up a "what if the situations were reversed" argument. I think you&#;re just uncomfortable with conversations about race and if this is the case, read different article about a different movie.)

    2. It&#;s funny that you wrote about how inappropriate and unnecessary it is to reference race under an article talking about a movie about a white supremacist cult. That&#;s race baiting, when you bring up race when relevant? lol

      The structure of race reinforces the structure of gender. Women is not just a gender category, it is a racial one as well.

      Read, Mama&#;s Baby, Papa&#;s Maybe: An American Grammar Book by Hortense J. Spillers, which is about the masculization of black women being deliberate since slave times(making them father figures and caretakers, the dehumanization of black women, and the black community being matriarchal, and the missing father being white slave masters in AA history, ungendering.

      The first and second waves of feminist movements were rooted in whiteness. &#;It[first-wave feminism] was a movement predominantly organized and defined by middle-class, educated white women, and concentrated mostly on issues pertaining to them.&#; -White Feminism on wikipedia

      Since I can&#;t post links, read the wikipedia pages at the very least of critical race theory and white feminism. It&#;s oversimplified but easy to understand.

      (Systemic racism won&#;t disappear if we don&#;t work towards dismantling it. It will continue to give the same racist results, whether or not its intentional by individual white or POC individuals or we rid all the racists. The existence of systemic racism is supported by piles and piles data, meta-analyses, etc. It makes no sense to bring up a &#;what if the situations were reversed&#; argument. I think you&#;re just uncomfortable with conversations about race and if this is the case, read different article about a different movie.)

  6. Dani is black women, and Christian is black men (and also Christianity). Midsommar is predictive programming. This movie is apart of propaganda geared toward The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and black people of a certain background are at the center of it all. The name Dani means &#;God is my Judge&#;. Dani comes from the name Daniel and the feminine version is Dannielle. This is related to the fact that we are in the 4th kingdom from Nebuchadnezzar&#;s dream. Iron mixed with clay. People involved in this Golden Dawn conspiracy are all about transference and protecting their position. It&#;s not a coincidence that the girl Christian was interested in had red hair, just like Leeloo from &#;The Fifth Element&#;. She is also the woman in the red dress from &#;The Matrix&#;. The place that Christian or Christianity was burned was in a yellow triangle, not happenstance. If you look at the doors of the place you will see which most likely pertains to Revelation This group of people are behind the gender war and using black women as a scape goat. But all parties are accountable for the parts they play. In any event, this movie was a depiction of things that have happened, things currently happening, and things to come.

  7. I don’t understand how Carrie is so different from Gone Girl and Midsommar. All three films are about mistreated women, who’s pent up rage, drives them over the edge. Did all the people Carrie killed deserve to die? No! But that’s not point. Sometimes it’s okay to feel catharsis with flawed people. Especially if their fake movie characters.

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Good for Her Meme Generator

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Do you have a wacky AI that can write memes for me?

Funny you ask. Why yes, we do. Here you go: (warning, may contain vulgarity)

Best of Lucille Bluth

What is the ‘Good for Her’ genre?

On August 7th , @cinematogrxphy tweeted a photo collage captioned “good for her cinematic universe”. The innocent tweet was explored in the film-buff social media community, prompting @cinematogrxphy to post the follow-up tweet “damn you guys are taking this tweet too seriously” along with another photo collage, expanding on this newly created good for her subgenre. After the explosive tweets, many film buffs were inspired to expand on this new subgenre. Letterboxd user Claira Curtis went the extra mile by curating an expansive list of films that fall into this internet creation.

With the same fury demonstrated on twitter, my other social media feeds became rammed with ‘good for her’ collages and posts. With the constant bombardment of ‘good for her’, I began thinking about which of my favourite films are eligible. Just looking at my favourite four films on Letterboxd – Raw, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Lady Vengeance and Never, Rarely, Sometimes, Always – all have been mentioned as films showing the ideals of this subgenre.

So, what are the main reasons that I and so many other fans have gravitated to this new subgenre? Simply put, because it’s highlighting and praising feminism and femininity in cinema. In a medium that still holds strong patriarchal power, it’s vindicating to have a subgenre devoted to uplifting women and feminism in cinema.

The phrase ‘good for her’ originates from an episode of the comedy show Arrested Development. In the infamous scene, icon Lucille Bluth is watching the news with her youngest adult son Buster. As the news finishes reporting a case in which a stressed mother lets her car roll into a lake with her kids trapped inside, Lucille responds with a hardy “good for her”, panicking Buster. The ‘good for her’ meme wasn’t created specifically for the subgenre: it’s been circulating on Tumblr since the mid s, usually being applied to bizarre news stories about eccentric women and in reaction to true crime shows. The meme’s lasting effect is because it represents to audiences the feeling of satisfaction felt when a female character realises their desires and/or receives a fulfilling conclusion. This idea is commonly seen in movies which centre around a belittled and traumatised woman who regains her autonomy. They are mostly the female equivalent of a rags to riches story, where the rags are trauma and the riches are unusual means of coping/eradicating the trauma.

Knives Out is a perfect example of the Good For Her subgenre done correctly. In the film, Marta, the nurse of fictional famous crime author Harlan Thromby, gains a satisfying ending as reward for her constant kindness and good-naturedness. She performs the rightful tasks – from being a caring friend for Harlon, calling an ambulance to save Fran’s life and desiring to be truthful with the Thromby’s about Harlon’s death. The ending shots convey the Good For Her impact perfectly, with Marta, the new inheritor of all Harlon’s assets, standing on the balcony of his estate, gazing down at the enraged Thromby family, who’s selfish actions led them to lose their birth right.  She sips from a mug declaring it’s her house and her rules now!

Similarly, horror and thriller movies are very easy to identify as part of the subgenre due to their repetitive use of the Final Girl trope, a term coined by Carol J Clover. The Final Girl is the last surviving female character who confronts the villain and lives to tell the tale of horror. This female character is usually a virginal goody-goody who breaks free of some of those holdings through fighting her way free from the killer. Therefore, it’s easy to slap the label on these films as the females receive satisfying endings as they are the only characters that don’t meet a bloody end. Classic characters like Sidney in Scream, Laurie in Halloween and Sally in Texas Chainsaw Massacre are the most obvious faces that come to mind when the Final Girl trope is discussed.

The Good for Her subgenre does, however, highlight the change of female characterisation in modern horror. In the course of 60 years, the one-dimensional virgin has transformed into a developed active agent who has control of the narrative. Comparing the Suspira movies indicates this change fully, from the bland final girl in the original to an all-powerful character she becomes in the remake. Dario Argento’s Suzy just picks up on the mission of the deceased girls before her, using the information that she just happened to overhear/be told. She doesn’t fully take control of the situation until the finale, when she notices Helena Markos’ silhouette and kills her. Luca Guadagnino’s Suzy demonstrates agency in turning up to the academy, altering the choreography to fit her desires, and finally revealing herself to be the all-powerful witch Mother Suspiriorum who eradicates the corrupt Helena Markos and her followers. This ending places her whole persona throughout the film in a new light, as every act is calculated so that she can gain the position as Markos’ vessel and reveal her true self. Instead of feeling happy, boring Suzy made a lucky escape. However, Suzy takes her rightful place as the head of the academy and has a complete character arc; this ending is far more satisfying for the audience.

The version also adds a similar agency onto the side character of Sarah, who becomes an active investigator in uncovering the truth around Patricia’s disappearance. Unlike the 70s Sarah, she doesn’t gain all the information off-scene; Sarah fully embraces the investigation of the disappearance, leading her to uncover truth behind the unusual behaviour at the academy, as well as discovering Patricia’s mutated form. Despite the oversaturation of remakes of classic horror movies, the move away from the underdeveloped Final Girl seems to have brought a new light into the traditional sexist genre by reinventing characters though a modern feminist lens.  

However, this progressive representation is overshadowed by negative figures that are held up as the queens of the Good For Her subgenre. The key figures fans call the ultimate symbols of Good For Her are Amy Dunne in Gone Girl and Dani in Midsommer. Both characters paint a dark picture of femininity, as well as showing a screwed perspective of feminism in cinema. Both characters are celebrated because they clearly subvert the typical female archetype. Despite this, their endings do not quite fit into my reading of what the Good for Her subgenre should embody. 

Amy Dunne is a calculated psychopath, who elaborately plots to punish the men that have wronged her. She is in control of the disappearance and is able to adapt her mission when her plan goes awry. The belittled and traumatised Amy we are first introduced to is revealed to be a complete fancy that she created to turn herself into the ideal, sympathetic missing woman whilst the true Amy is cruel and controlling.  Amy wasn’t created to be admired, she was created to be feared and show the abusive control that some women can possess. The ending isn’t a satisfying conclusion, it’s a tragic closure as Nick and his unborn baby are trapped with this monster.

Dani, on the other hand, is a truly belittled and traumatised woman for the whole film. She is unable to gain her autonomy as she falls under the whim of the cult, which causes her more trauma. The cult grooms her with praise, gives her a false sense of family, falsely identifying with her pain and, ultimately, force her to join their cult by getting her to agree to murder her boyfriend, Christian. All Dani’s actions in the film are not her own, they are manipulated by the cult. Even though we want Dani to finally punish Christian for being the worst boyfriend EVER, the punishment he gets is created by the cult, not by Dani. The end shot, of Dani manically smiling, watching the yellow house burn with Christian and her deceased friends in it isn’t a happy ending, even Dani definitely deserves a happy ending after all she’s been through. She isn’t destroying all the negativity in her life in an over-the-top cleanse, she is now completely trapped and vulnerable, becoming the perfect victim to be fully initiated into the cult.

The Good For Her label can be applied to many films of all different genres, though many of the popular collages and posts seen on social media completely ignore films that fall outside the horror/thriller genre. Studio Ghibli’s filmography, for example, fulfils the subgenre completely, with all of their films centring around girls/women who gain their dreams with fulfilling conclusions. This is seen on the big adventure scale with Nausicaä of The Valley of The Wind and Princess Mononoke, where both girls are able to return harmony to nature by ending raging wars. Kiki’s Delivery Service shows the small scale of this trope, as we just follow Kiki growing as a witch and finding her purpose in the world, feeling overjoyed when she regains her flight and saves her friend Tombo. But these films are ignored as it’s easier to see the trope enacted when women utilise bloody violence to gain ‘happiness’ instead of watching a happy witch fly around delivering cakes.

The subgenre isn’t something that will go away anytime soon. It has already formed a vice-grip and with every new release – from Promising Young Woman to Cruella – that grip gets a little tighter. Now when I look at the upcoming releases, I instinctually start categorising what films will be hailed as the next great ‘Good for Her’ movie. Freaky, Black Widow, Zola and Gunpower Milkshake are all hotly anticipated films that I’m predicting will make a huge splash. With the increase of female-centred movies, as well as the increase of women in the industry, there will just be more movies that the phrase ‘good for her’ can and should be applied to. Hopefully, we will also be throwing films of all genres and decades into the category, and maybe even placing TV shows into the subgenre too (Harley Quinn is definitely a great contender).

Hopefully, even sooner, we will be placing films that show narratives not just seen though the White female gaze. With the successful evolution of female characters, the same attention needs to be put on films involving the BAME community and more diverse point-of-views. Celebrating BAME-centred films, as well as funding films by BAME artists, will increase this evolution and diversify the Good For Her subgenre. 

Charlotte is a Media and Creative Writing student who enjoys injecting horror, feminism and anime into her work. You can follow her on Instagram @books_can_roar.


Her meme for good

My head is bare in you, you can feel it so clearly, how its edges forcefully push you apart, I plunge deeper and deeper. Until I logged in completely. I touch the clitoris with my body, and slowly moving in a circle with my pelvis, so that it turns and turns in you, I move. The walls in you even more. Trembling and an intermittent moan erupt from the chest.

Best of Lucille Bluth

Her streams splashed directly on the lying Anton, wetting his chest, face and groin. From such a sight, I was discouraged, and silently watched in surprise. Anton - Have you seen how she is.

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Then Natasha felt the touch of his head of his penis. Lenya lightly pressed on the ring of her anus and entered her. Natasha screamed. Lyonya stopped and froze.

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