Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Learning to Tolerate Zooey Deschanel: A Feminist's Struggle

This post is a part of my “Out of the Kitchen” weekly column at The Progressive Playbook in which various news and pop culture items will be examined through a feminist.

So let’s take a moment to talk about a pop culture icon of a woman, who seems to be nearly everywhere, shall we? Let’s talk about Ms. Zooey Deschanel.

Deschanel is tricky territory for me. She is someone who on a fundamental level just rubs me the wrong way, which is absurd, of course, seeing as how I’ve never met her. But in ever-presentness (she’s not only an actress but also a singer and fashion icon) I have found there to be a quality about her which doesn’t mesh well with me.

I’m not sure what it is. We can all agree that Deschanel is cute. Maybe it’s that she’s too cute. From her doe like eyes, to her hip vintage style, her hypnotizing folk band singing voice, the hearts on her cell phone, and her website’s URL ( she is undeniably adorable. Even her first name has a favorite childhood fieldtrip destination hidden right in it! Read more...


  1. I don't know if you'll see this, but question about (500) Days of Summer: I always thought that it was a film critiquing the MPDG, not buying into it? Like that Tom tried to make Summer his dream girl, even though she ended up having beliefs and actions of her own that didn't fit into his ideal (ex. her breaking up with him). She seemed to have more character background / growth than I would expect from a typical MPDG, too. Or am I giving the film too much credit?

    (Although I will admit the film was quite cissist, binarist, ableist, and misogynistic at times)

    1. I don't know...I'm not convinced. From the original creating of the term, a MPDG is "that bubbly, shallow cinematic creature that exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures."

      So in that way, I think Summer was one, to me. But where she stops being on is that she did have her own plans. But the story still follows Tom and portrays Summer as kind of it's more like Tom learned a cautionary about investing in a MPDG than her actually being a strong female character.

      As opposed to Ruby Sparks (which was written by a woman) which I feel turns the whole thing on its head:


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