Alison Stevenson has seen a lot of indie movies lately, and she's sick to death of certain aspects of the ever-popular "quirky girl" character. As a real-life "quirky girl," I thought Alison would be a perfect person to-- ouch, ow, oh God, she's hitting me! Her knuckles are so sharp! Okay, I'm sorry, I take back the quirky thing. Anyway, back to Alison.
I recently watched the new Noah Baumbach film, Frances Ha. There were a lot of things that I liked about it, but more things that annoyed the crap out of me. To me, the film was basically a long episode of Girls, but for some reason Adam wears a fedora. Not only does he wear a fedora, but he still manages to get laid—the f*ck? Anyways, what's really pissing me off about this film, and also every other indie production with a “quirky” female lead, is how predictable these women become. The manic pixie dream girl is a tired character that has officially been done to death. As much as these women might deny that this is what they're embodying, it totally is what they're embodying. So with that being said, I give you some examples of the crap I'm sick of, and even offer some extremely clever alternatives because I am thoughtful like that.
Pixie babes, I totally get it. You like to play tiny instruments because they're small and fragile, yet have something to say – just like you! Literally within the first thirty seconds of Frances Ha there was a tiny banjo, which is actually called a banjolele. However, I prefer to just call them f*cking dumb. For the record though, when I first saw the word banjolele I didn't have my glasses on, and thought it said bunghole so that's another great thing to think about. Anyways, playing an instrument is totally cool, but how about we switch up the kind of instrument? Let's get some brass or woodwind up in this bitch. Playing a larger instrument that commands strength is much more empowering than quietly singing “la la la” while plucking away at a baby guitar. Ever heard of a tuba? Bassoon maybe? How about we compromise with a French horn. Those are automatically cool because they're French, just like Serge Gainsbourg!
There has to be a woman out there who enjoys listening to Neutral Milk Hotel and isn't an aspiring writer, actress, singer, dancer, or teacher. A chemist maybe? How about an engineer or computer programmer? If there's anyone who's good at being socially awkward it's a computer programmer. Wait, how about--considering her head is always in the clouds--she be an airline pilot? You can have that one.
What is it about being quirky that messes up a woman's balance of gravity? Running and falling is the oldest gag in the book next to pies-in-the-face and mindless violence. Hey, movie-making people, women can be funny by saying funny things. Yes it's true, we can express humor without resorting to vaudevillian prat falls. Something to think about!
Oh God I'm so nervous and anxious all the time it makes me go on these adorable tangents that make no sense. Sometimes I bring up pointless memories from my childhood like when I was six I saw a pigeon get run over by a car and maybe that's why I can't find love? Last week I was on this date and I was talking about how much I hate the color pink, which is like totally crazy for a girl to hate pink. I don't know I guess I’m really weird like that, but see I hate pink so much that I barf at the sight of it. No seriously! I totally just vomit everywhere, it's disgusting. My date was trying to tell me that it's sweet, but I don't know. I told him about the time I got drunk and crashed a baby shower and well of course the one time I crash a baby shower it ends up being for a baby girl! As soon as I entered this random expectant mother's apartment and saw those pink decorations, I barfed all over my boss's shoes who was totally there for some reason! It was way random and embarrassing, but makes me seem so lovably crazy doesn't it?
No one takes baths anymore. There's no time for that. Plus, you're wasting water. Not only that, but your fingers get all pruney and feel weird. Why does life need to be pondered while submerged in water? How much quirkier would it be if we had a character who could only ponder her existence while sneezing? She'd have to sneeze so much all the time to finally figure out where she's going with her life! She straight up snorts pepper, and shoves her feather earrings up her nose. Okay that's just one idea we don't have to keep it, but all I’m saying is it's brilliant so we're keeping it.
Come on white girls, we're not the only ones who drink wine, sleep with our professors, and carry pictures of Kate Bush in our wallets. Would it really be that crazy to have a quirky Latina lead, and not make her a distant friend or coworker? If 2012 taught us anything it's that every girl in the world, regardless of ethnicity or affinity towards folk music, can pull off Zooey Deschanel bangs.
I want more like this!
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