Monday, October 7, 2013

Why Do I Hate Zooey Deschanel?

I previously asked the internet why everyone hates Nickelback, a band that is fun to hate, who have become quite the cliche punchline, who solicits hatred so universally that it's almost become a team-building exercise to talk about why they suck.

But now I want to talk about a celebrity I hate that the rest of the world seems to love. And by "love" I mean they constantly trip over themselves trying to get one last compliment in about her freaking bangs. Yes, I'm talking about Zooey Deschanel.

 Image via IMDB

Much has been said about the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope and how stupid and annoying these characters are. So why aren't more people annoyed by Zooey Deschanel, who not only plays a MPDG in everything she's ever acted in (conjecture, as I haven't seen her whole body of work) but also plays one in real life? She exists so that guys can feel good about themselves: "See, I like quirky, funny girls! I'm not a one-dimensional guy who's just looking for a beautiful, thin woman who will keep her mouth shut." Except for the fact that Zooey's goddamn bangs and beautiful blue eyes and annoyingly perfect vintage dresses make her a regulation hottie, despite her so-called "awkwardness."


Speaking of awkwardness, do I have a right to be angry with a hot chick for capitalizing on our cultural fascination with awkwardness, when I literally wrote the book (okay, not the book, but a book) on the subject myself? Everyone who knows me assumes I have a massive girl crush on Zooey, partly because they do and partly because I seem the type to like her--I'm self-proclaimed awkward, I like to wear dresses, I make inappropriate jokes and say cynical things but no one minds because of my cherubic face. I'm basically the less hot version of Ms. Deschanel. Minus the lucrative acting and singing career. But I do quite well at karaoke, thank you very much.

 See, she's wearing glasses and making a funny face. This chick is awkward as hell!

So why do I hate her? Is it jealousy? Why can't a woman tear down another woman without being accused of jealousy, or worse, anti-feminism? But then again, maybe I am jealous of Zooey. Like I said, she's hot, she has a successful career, and she doesn't seem like an idiot--which is usually what I assume all hot, successful people are, to help myself sleep at night. Plus, I have beautiful blue eyes that aren't quite as beautiful as hers. I tried having bangs for five whole years before realizing that my bangs look like ass compared to hers. Sometimes I tell an insensitive dead baby or Hellen Keller joke and everyone looks around uncomfortably; meanwhile, she has a laugh track wherever she goes.

But it has to be deeper than jealousy; otherwise I'd have to be jealous of every rich, famous, successful celebrity there is. And you don't see me wishing I could join Nickelback, do you? Let's go back to her beautiful blue eyes (damn her, why and how are they so friggin blue??). Like I said, Zooey Deshanel represents a shift in what our culture finds attractive. She's not blonde or tan, she doesn't have huge jubblies or exposed cleavage. She didn't learn all the right moves from Carmen Electra's Aerobic Striptease; in fact, she dances like a complete dork.


Not only do guys feel okay with themselves for being attracted to her, but girls think maybe they have a chance, since someone like Zooey Deschanel--awkward, mousy Deschanel--is suddenly captivating society's attention. Only, this is false because she's still a babe, and she's just awkward and quirky enough to be "not like all the other girls" without being a total psycho. Would Joseph Gordon-Levitt dance with her if she weighed 300 pounds or actually had food stuck in her teeth all the time or couldn't stop making Hellen Keller jokes? Probably not. The problem is, most of us do weigh 300 pounds (or, you know, more than Zooey does), most of us have food stuck in our teeth at least half the time, and yeah, most of us are unable to joke about anything besides Hellen Keller. So even though society has deemed Ms. Deschanel the new it-girl, we normal folks are still way too far outside the awkwardness curve to benefit from her contribution to society.

Lena Dunham, on the other hand, I don't hate. I admit that I'm jealous of her--Girls features some great writing and has obviously been successful, and she's rich and famous, etc. But she looks like the rest of us; in fact, she makes herself look even worse on her show, unlike Zooey Deschanel, whose characters all seem to have a professional bang stylish on hand at all moments. Lena's character Hannah is actually awkward--not cute awkward or "oops, I spilled my latte" awkward. I mean seriously--Hannah accuses her would-be boss of date rape during a job interview (she doesn't get the job). If you want to see women portraying actual "quirky," awkward characters, look no further than the Lena Dunhams, Melissa McCarthys and Rebel Wilsons of the world.

 Image via Huffington Post
This is how Hannah Horvath dresses up to go clubbing.

Do I hate Zooey Deschanel because she's beautiful? Not exactly. I hate that she's become a checkmark on Hollywood's list of things it has to do to placate the crowds. I hate that Hollywood did a shitty job of bringing us an outside-the-norm actress, and I hate that the crowds are placated anyway. She's not a manic pixie dream girl; she's just a dream girl.

But mostly, I just hate her perfect bangs and impossibly blue eyes.

What do you think of Zooey Deschanel? Are there any famous people you can't stand that everyone else loves?

26 comments:

  1. Eh, I still love her. New Girl is freaking hilarious. But I do agree that she is "awkward, dawww..." not "awkward, oh God - what did I just do?!" There was a Cracked article awhile back that did a bang-up job of explaining the difference between real life, crippling awkwardness and movie, cute awkwardness. Imma try to link it, but sometimes that doesn't work in blog comments.

    http://www.cracked.com/blog/4-things-movies-always-get-wrong-about-awkward-people/

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    1. I liked the article! But it made me realize that everyone is trying to out-awkward each other these days, including me. But I've been awkward since before it was cool! And now that it's cool, I'm still not cool. How does that work? I blame Zooey haha

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    2. So true! I'm the kind of awkward you only see on shows like The Office. That is NOT cute awkward.

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  2. Yea, I'm pretty much in love with her too. And I think in the first season of New Girl she is definitely the "awkward- what the hell is she doing?" vs the second season where she becomes a lot more mainstream and "cute awkward". Also, after looking up what a MPDG is (thanks for the link), she definitely is not that in New Girl. She's a pretty strong personality...

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    1. I'm gonna have to watch New Girl again. The one episode I watched with you was probably not a good entry point. After the feedback I've gotten on this post, I think maybe not having seen New Girl was a grave error...

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    2. My friend had to come to my house, hold me down, and force me to watch the first couple episodes. Then my husband and I binge watched the two seasons on Netflix and are recording Season 3 on our DVR. It will change your life.

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  3. I think everyone (myself included) love her because she was in one of the greatest movies of all time, Elf. After that, she can do no wrong. This also explains my love for Peter Dinklage.

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    1. That's true, I actually loved her in Elf (and in Failure to Launch, when she was at the height of her MPDGness). I really think it's just her bangs that I hate!

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  4. I need to check out "Girls"-- I keep hearing good things. I'm ambivalent about Zooey Deschanel... but totally with you on the whole "oh I'm so awkward except yeah actually I'm adorable and perfect."

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    1. I love Girls! But it's not for everybody. I will say that Hannah is an actually awkward character. Unbearable sometimes.

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  5. "I'm basically the less hot version of Ms. Deschanel. Minus the lucrative acting and singing career. But I do quite well at karaoke, thank you very much."

    We could be sisters, then! ha!

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    1. welcome! It's nice to meet one of my brethren. (What's the feminine version of brethren?)

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  6. I, too, must say that I love Zooey. Mostly because New Girl is freaking hilarious. I like it because it's a show whose main character is a woman that isn't constantly making cracks about her body and being stupid (like that damned Two Broke Girls monstrosity).

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    1. Never seen Two Broke Girls, but you make a good point. To balance the girl-on-girl hate going on in this post, I should write about a manic pixie dream guy I can't stand! Hahaha

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  7. Hmmm...the only person that I didn't like that EVERYONE loved was Alanis Morrisette. I thought she was whiny and annoying. Liked her in Dogma though.

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    1. wait, did EVERYONE like her?? I didn't used to like her either, but now I like her for nostalgia's sake.

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  8. If you hate Zooey Deschanel because she’s pretty, funny, and boys like her, take a good look at yourself because I think you’re just flat out jealous (despite your somewhat denial of such envy).

    Mind you it was a SEXIST MAN who created the concept of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope as a static character who plays a supporting role in a decidedly boring man’s life and falls for her. Sure, this is a simplified version of some characters that Zooey Deschanel has happened to play during her career as an actress (and and emmy nominated one mind you). But it is only YOU and other women who have created this delusional idea that all women who happen to be a certain way (pretty bangs and big blue eyes) are anti-feminist symbols of the "Dream Girl". DON’T blame the people who supposedly exemplify the trope (Deschanel), because newsflash: women aren’t figments of people’s imagination purely created to bolster men’s egos. They have emotions, radical thoughts, faults and scars. They’re real life people. Do not minimize a successful, talented women to the false concept of the "Manic Pixie Dream Girl" just because you are intimidated by her beauty. I myself am a fan of the show New Girl because I think it is a fun comedy about friends who are still growing up together in there late twenties. I do not look at Zooey or her character as someone that I should model after just because of her physical beauty- I am perfectly confidant in my own appearance despite the fact that I look nothing like her.

    Why don’t you go write a feminist rant about how The Manic Pixie Dream Boy has to go instead? Men are allowed to be interesting, contradictory, intelligent, commitment phobic, and still be good looking and appealing to women! That isn’t considered unreal in men, or inspiring of men’s hatred from every corner, and yes, men like this do exist in real life, yes, literally every girl falls madly in love with them, and yes, they come with a great deal of problems, and are often excused for them while their female counterparts are skewered the world round for lesser faults.

    All women are people, even ones that men find attractive for a variety of reasons. Also, chances are, the girls that supposedly fit this trope in real life aren’t very happy, because to be objectified as “interesting” by men, and entirely false by women like you, is not conducive to a high self-esteem.

    What I am trying to get through to you is that you need to understand people before making judgments on how their blue eyes and bangs are clearly a sign of “feminine manipulation.” Your article is embarrassing for the feminist population.

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    1. Wow is right. What the fuck did I just read there?

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    2. Relax dood. No one is gonna stop you from fapping to her terrible acting. She comes off as fake pure and simple and she gets humped for it. That would annoy anyone who recognizes it.
      She represents the sad event of nerds becoming media fodder while millions of real nerds feel all the more rejected because they can't even simulate societies' image of what they are now expected to act and look like.
      Fake media piss and shit is just disgusting but this type in general just really hits home for me and I am not alone.
      You can say I am jealous till you turn blue, but honey I like being naturally attractive and genuinely unique and intellegent.
      Even if she is all of those in reality I could never envy someone who has the image of being a vapid idiot. Shit might as well be jealous of Kim Kardashian. Give me a break.

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  9. I don't like Zooey Deschanel because she's a one-trick pony, and that trick has been overplayed. The description for every episode of New Girl could be this: "Jess acts quirky and awkward, with zany results." Why would you need to watch more than one?? How much longer are we supposed to think she's adorable while she stutters and acts like a five year old? Also, who okayed the theme song? Did they only give her five minutes to write and produce it? Maybe if they'd given her ten, she could have managed to, I don't know, work the NAME OF THE SHOW into it?

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  10. I agree with you. I don't like her. She is pretty. She is not dorky at all. I am not holding anything against her for being beautiful but please, don't play the quirky card cuz we are not fooled

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  11. I don't like her. I think she's boring and as annoying as hell, perhaps because she has played almost the same kind of character over the years. She may be a good actress but it doesn't show with the range of roles she has played. I tried watching New Girl several times and always got bored--it's so pretentious.

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  12. I am a guy, a straight guy who likes girls. Every guy I know loves her, and I don't get it. Granted she is attractive, but the whole "I'm so off beat and quirky, and I'm gonna sing whether you like it or not" thing makes me want to eat a grenade. I just watched a movie with her and then spent twenty minutes googling for people who don't like her (yes I have an abundance of free time...to better the world through mutual snarky dislike of hugely successful people of whom I disapprove, knowing as a result they will one day....never notice that I am breathing air, and continue living unabated in a horizon pool with cocktails swum about by well trained dolphins). I find it odd that the only people who agree with me seem to be female and thus "they must be jealous". Why do these guys like her so much? Every character is the same, and you can guarantee that every one of them has to sing at some point or she will self destruct and scatter bits of kooky outfit all over the set. Oh but she has such a wonderful singing voice! Does she? Really? She sings on key, and puts on some sort of 1940s girl in a piano bar inflection that makes me want to eat a shotgun sandwich (hold the shoes and socks so I can pull the trigger with my toes). Everyone is entitled to their opinion I guess, people watch CSI Miami and make deliberate trips to Ikea for the meatballs.

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  13. No tits,shy nerd. Whats to love. Not a sex symbol,maybe a sort of boyle story of the girl who made it? No hate, no interest either. Save your jealously ladies,men are sleeping.

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  14. She plays the same god damn character in everything she does, that's why I can't stand her

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