Site of the week: get your scathing reality check with Dear Coquette
For anyone seeking “shady advice from a raging bitch who has no business answering any of their questions,” advice tumblr blog Dear Coquette is the place to direct your vulnerability, at your own risk.
Started in 2009, Dear Coquette is the ultimate advice column catered to the reality TV-saturated ego-stroked generation of social media and pop culture junkies. Like any advice column, the entries are all responses to reader-generated problems ranging from the more innocent curiosities — like wanting a clever response to an OKCupid request — to the more weighty dilemmas, like having a friend in a domestic violence situation. What makes this public airing of grievances so refreshing, though, is the caliber of Coquette’s responses, which, although searing reality checks, always have a sagacity behind them. Although her tumblr disciples do most of the soul-baring, the appeal of the site is that “Coquette,” besides not offering her name, offers totally honest and unadulterated anecdotes about herself as well. After reading through some of these frank and fascinating Q & A sessions, you’re left with the feeling that both parties experienced some emotional growth, while having the opportunity to let go of some built-up tension.
As the sheer enormity of posts can be overwhelming, the site lets you search through the archives by categories—random bits of advice, the hall of anti-fame, a few testimonials, etc.—or scroll through the entire, ever-lengthening feed of people bitching or being bitched-at. When you click on “all the past advice,” you can see the diversity of topics discussed, with each post announcing its theme in the subject line—such as “On coming off as racist,” “On snooping,” or “On mortality, babies, and pills.” One recurring post, titled “On Fun-Sized Advice,” features advice-as-punch lines, with people asking questions that often warrant a longer response than the biting and bite-sized rejoinders she offers—such as one guy who asked: “I have sociopathic tendencies. How do I change?” to which she replied: “Pretend you’re a good person.” At caustic-but-comic moments like these, one could get annoyed that she opts out of legitimately helping someone for the sake of humor, but that’s also what makes the site so readable.
An exhilaratingly honest take on human experience, Dear Coquette is the Girls of the Internet, addressing major common-to-all topics while ensuring that none of us take all the quotidian drudgery too seriously. Ask her a question, and get sassed in the best way possible.