Thursday, 31 January 2013

Zooey Deschanel, she's not just a pretty face.

Many women as bloggers, journalists, or critics have recently been labelling actress and musician Zooey Deschanel as "too girly", behaving and dressing as if she is still a little girl and complying to the idea of a perfect woman by being flirty and pretty and a human connotation of cupcakes and rainbows. However, I am in complete disagreement with this rather unfair judgement of a talented and intelligent young woman who is no way deserving of the type of criticism she's beginning to receive from fellow females. Women writing for feminist publications have argued that she simply isn't helping with the fight for equality, that she just plays the same sweet and innocent characters in every movie and continues to like sparkles and unicorns even in her early 30s. Zooey is often criticised for being 'type cast' into roles that closely resemble the archetypical 1950s woman. They must have been watching different films to me because I certainly haven't ever noticed this.

I admit Deschanel often plays a quirky part, especially in new sitcom New Girl, but I don't believe this is any reflection of her acting ability and in fact I view it in quite the opposite way. I believe she has acted incredibly well in a lot of her work and, whilst many of her characters tend to be quirky and adorable, I find it hard to find comparisons between each one. I don't watch '500 Days of Summer' and recognise Summer as being irritatingly similar to Jess Day in New Girl because they're not, and I think this is almost solely down to Zooey's acting talent.

I find it odd that so many women dislike her for being cooky and cute and judge her quite unjustly for being apparently different to them. Why do they care if she's seen wearing floaty skirts and girly dresses  quite often? I could wear floaty skirts all day and just float around all over the place, I often do, it doesn't make me "less feminist" it just makes me me. Because feminism is all about choice, and if women who slag off Zooey claim they believe this then why are they condemning her choices? They don't know her. I don't know her but at least I don't judge her for being, well, for being who she decides to portray herself as.

I don't think she's even close to this "girly and flirty and pathetic" persona she's been labelled with. I believe from interviews and from her own work that she's as talented and as intelligent and as aware of feminism as these women are and still chooses to look "adorable" too. She's never struck me as being arrogant with the fame she has risen to from her work, or that she promotes herself purely on her looks. Are we now attacking women who are beautiful because being that way is antifeminist? Who is anyone to judge a woman who is clearly very smart and talented for her image? In fact, Zooey recently told Glamour magazine something that has become a quote doing the rounds of the Internet as an inspirational message. She said, "I want to be a fucking feminist and wear a fucking Peter Pan collar. So fucking what?" which I think beautifully sums up my point. She proves that she's not the woman everyone thought they could mess with, that she doesn't care how she dresses and that she knows it doesn't somehow effect her beliefs of feminism and equality. Why should it?

Zooey co-founded an entertainment website/blog for women to share creative, funny and independent pieces where they weren't going to be pushed behind blokey men who laugh when the word 'boobies' is said like on LadBible. The website is, would you judge a woman's mental capacity and involvement in feminism for that?

I don't understand why feminism has actually started to take on a new stereotype, a group of elitists who create this image for themselves that makes them look kind of obnoxious. They appear to have this snobbery about how other women who call themselves feminists behave when it's not the same as their middle class fashion adorned group. Going back to a previous blog post of mine about playing with Barbies and baby dolls didn't effect who I am today, why should women who cut of Barbie's head and flushed it down the toilet be considered more feminist than me? Just like wearing a Peter Pan collar doesn't make Zooey Deschanel any less of a feminist than the women who are criticising her.

If feminism is defined by being about choice, then we should try to refrain from condemning any man or woman's choices for how their image is portrayed by the public. I think arguing against Zooey Deschanel is a very poor and weak argument to make, and it isn't going to get us anywhere. There are far more important and real issues to be dealing with than to be slagging off another woman's dress sense. I don't see Zooey Deschanel as stupid and ignorant and just a silly little woman who doesn't know any better, I see her as a very talented, very clever, unbelievably beautiful woman who I wouldn't be exaggerating when I said she was one of my idols. Because I do believe that she is. She's badass and ridiculously adorable, why shouldn't I look up to her for being completely who she wants to be? Isn't that what I'm supposed to be doing?