Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Manic Pixie Dream Girl

Webster's Dictionary defines the Manic Pixie Dream Girl as a specimen of the female genome generally ranging between the ages of 15-29, who participates in socially unique behavioral customs such as dreamy doe eyed optimism, insatiable curiosity for the absolutely banal, bouts of magical whimsy, unattainable relationship status, quirky colored hair pigment that constantly changes in design, a deep emotional attachment to bands you've never heard of, and the inability to be on time to any event ever.

 (I should clarify that "Webster's Dictionary" is a collection of legal pad pages on which I make up things about things and write them down in crayon and magazine letter cutouts and have named Webster. I also apply Lisa Frank stickers of dogs riding skateboards wearing sunglasses wherever necessary)

                                                         (They're necessary a lot.)

Manic Pixie Dream Girls are not new news, but in fact have existed for centuries in both literary, cinematic, and IRL status. Let's take a look at some of the most well known of those button nosed, batshit crazy lil buckets. I'll refer to them as MPDG's for the rest of the post.

1. Juliet (Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare)

 Arguably literature's first Manic Pixie Dream Girl, Juliet really went balls to the walls when it came to living (and dying) up to her MPDG title. Love at first sight is as common as the cold for these girls. Srsly, give her an emo'd out jobless loser (Romeo) and you might as well have hit the self destruct button in her brain. And of course she friendzones Paris, the guy that has his shit together and is actually deserving of her.

Friendzoning (see footnote) is a common phenomenon amongst the MPDG's, a weapon they use often and without pity.

2. Clarisse (Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury)

The very first time we're introduced to Clarisse in the book, Guy Montag asks her how old she is and she whimsically replies, "I'm seventeen and I'm crazy. My uncle says the two always go together. When people ask your age, he said, always say seventeen and insane." Yeah...that's a major MPDG red flag right there.

A lot of the rhetoric that spews forth from a MPDG will cause a knee jerk "Seriously, what the fuck are you talking about" reaction. One might even think drugs had something to do with it, but don't be mistaken, these girls are just high on the dangerous amounts of quirky radness they embody.

Clarisse goes on throughout the book to babble about how good the rain tastes, and totally mind rapes Guy Montag with that most generic and ethereal of MPDG inquistions... "Are you happy?"

                            (And then she gets her capricious ass hit by a car. Typical.)

3.Bella (Twilight by Stephanie Meyer)

Ugh...the Worst. I can't even....Just...No.

4. Kirsten Dunst (Every Movie She's Been In Ever)

This is in an interesting one because not only is Kirsten Dunst consistently portraying an MPDG on film, but I'm pretty sure that's just who she is IRL. That's why she's so good at it. Let's review her rolodex shall we: friendzones Peter Parker but totally hits it when he's Spiderman as Mary Jane, the title The Virgin Suicides speaks for itself, she dances on a bed in her undies, high as pie, and also friendzones Mark Ruffalo in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Elizabethtown, Crazy/Beautiful, Marie Antoinette, MelancholiaTHEY'REALLTHESAMECHARACTER, this whimsical, unattainable, pretty creature that you're not sure if you want to make sex to or study for science!

(Don't be fooled: The clothing choices of a true MPDG are meticulous. It took hours for her to pick out which shirt to not wear a bra under, and which granny panties were weird, but not weird enough for you to lose your boner)

5. Clementine Kruczynski (Kate Winslet in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind)

Says the following:

"Too many guys think I'm a concept, or I complete them, or I'm gonna make them alive. But I'm just a fucked-up girl who's lookin' for my own peace of mind; don't assign me yours."

This should be the anthem of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. As rehearsed and fake as it is, it really rings true to the core of the problem.What's so very sad about this certain type of girl is that the reason she exists, in all her flawed glory, is because guys want her to. Guys want this type of girl, so that's what a faction of girls became. She's the alternative to whatever the "norm" and whatever the "abnormal" is. She's right in between, and the reason she's so messed up is because she didn't define herself for herself, she defined herself for other people, stupid adolescent guys specifically.

But there's hope...while the following girls still have a tinge of MPDG to them, there's a meatier interior that makes me think humanity might not be lost if this is the trend of what girls aspire to be.

The Anti-MPDG League

1. Katniss (The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins)

Badass with a bow and arrow, provides single handedly for her fam, and even though she's got a little weird MPDG love triangle goin on, she deals with cold harsh realities (fictional...realities) when it comes to love and responsibility to ones partner. Very high five.

2. Hermione (Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)

Girl can weild a book and drop some serious knowledge like nobody's biznass. Plus, she totally could have hit it with HP, but she sidestepped that emotional landmine and married the dependable ginger. Good on ya, Herm.

3. Any Ethnic Disney Princess

If I've ever seen a case of reverse racism it's right here. Seriously? Mulan, Pocahontas, and Jasmine all get to be bad ass bitches with their military training, hunting and nature skills, and tiger wrangling abilities and the white girls get...what? singing like angels to woodland creatures?!?! Because THAT'S really gonna help us in the zombie apocalypse. Total rip off. Not to mention Lilo gets to shred some serious gnar (surfing), and Rapunzel gets to...wait, what does she do? Oh that's right BRUSH HER LONG ASS HAIR. Unbelievable.

(although I did just watch Brave, and being super pale and Irish with an affinity for archery....I'm actually pretty content Disney-wise.)

So that's where we're at. It was the not-so-best of times. It was the not-so-worst of times.


*Friendzoning- the act of metaphorically chopping a dudes wang off and keeping it in a jar on her mantle. He sticks around in the hopes that one day she'll realize what an awesome dude to her he's been. She wants him around because he does awesome stuff for her and she's pretty sure he knows it's never gonna happen between them because she's way not into it, so why broach the subject right? Neither party is honest about their feelings and both are incredibly stupid for participating in such idiotic behaviour.

No comments:

Post a Comment