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!
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?