Real Manic Pixie Dream Girls of LA
In TV and in film, the stock character of the “Manic Pixie Dream Girl” has gained popularity and thus become prevalent in Hollywood. The character is usually a young girl who is quirky and often artistic. She usually exists to pull the (male) protagonist out of his comfort zone and comparatively less exciting life, aiding in his character development. Zooey Deschanel is probably known as the actress who plays this role the most. Her frequent movie roles eventually turned into the part of Jess in New Girl, the Fox sitcom that premiered September 2011. Interestingly, the “Manic Pixie Dream Girl” in this case, is, in fact, the protagonist, which is uncommon.
This archetype is more socially acceptable and has also become a real-life persona many female celebrities adopt. Deschanel is one actress who embodies these qualities, and so does Jennifer Lawrence. Lawrence is a media darling because of her perceived realness and down-to-earth attitude. Unsurprisingly, this popularity has resulted in a backlash against the archetype, namely Lawrence.
Many people have accused Lawrence of being fake and manufacturing this persona in order to ingratiate herself with the public. Women like her are often accused of being attention-seeking or phony. Obviously, we will never know if her persona is genuine or not. What’s more, it doesn’t matter. The only person who knows is Lawrence. There is a problem here—it is always women who are accused of this behavior. Because a woman is beautiful, it is considered impossible that she might be vulnerable, or weird.
Celebrities are their own brands. People support them and buy their products based on who they are, and we may never really know these celebrities. Unless, you happen to be friends with one of them. Women have less “roles” to fill in life than men—Madonna Whore, “Gotta have it all” Liz Lemon type, etc. While ideally, these roles wouldn’t exist—no roles would, in fact, for anyone—at the very least, this “Manic Pixie Dream Girl” role has been added, and is one that encourages accepting her weirdness and not being ashamed. The role also has more dimensions than the previous ones mentioned. A case of life imitating art.
Girls are weird, too. It’s okay. Weirdness keeps life interesting and art, such as film, fresh and unexpected.