Five things Zooey Deschanel taught me

  1. Positive space can start with yourself and your efforts. With the creation of, a site that caters to traditionally-female issues, Deschanel illustrates her ability to combat negative comments. She’s not one to stand by and let others absorb the spewing hate around her or narrow paradigms of beauty and femininity. Deschanel proves herself to be more than a performer or actor. By encouraging healthy dialogue around women issues and setting a positive example for young girls, she reclaims power and agency from the media and online community.
  2. People may try to dismiss your intelligence – don’t let them. Some detractors of Deschanel say the actor is pulling the classic and overplayed victim card when she says she has experienced bullying, and therefore she’s a regular person. I say it’s admirable: Deschanel doesn’t let bullying ossify her experience or her talents. I’m not idolizing her nor elevating her accomplishments, nor am I diminishing them. She doesn’t capitalize on people’s sympathies or cry for their attentions.

    Deschanel’s Marie Clarie interview strikes a chord with me – in a good way. Her quirkiness and individuality, whether in New Girl wearing a bow or pink ensemble, doesn’t make her excessively feminine or necessitate an underestimation of her intelligence. Let’s drop the assumptions that her cutesy exterior implies a lack of intelligence.

  3. You can make the indie hipster mainstream. From 500 Days of Summer to Failure to Launch, Deschanel has gotten the hang of the artsy alternative role. Her New Girl role as Jess Day transforms this once dark and deadpan-looking girl into a dorky, but aside from some far-fetched antics, she’s a more relatable everyday girl.

    Though Deschanel may not have anticipated her move from acting in indie art films to star in her own TV series, she embodies the role of Jessica Day. Deschanel’s very malleability and marketability showcases her strength to cater to young audiences who want light-hearted comedy and romance.

  4. Deschanel isn’t Summer or Jessica Day. She’s an actress who fits the mould of different TV and movie roles – she isn’t any of her one-dimensional roles.

    The term Manic Pixie Dream Girl best describes Deschanel’s type casted roles. Deschanel often plays roles that are imagined from the male perspective. She becomes an imagined and reductive caricature, rather than a fully-developed character. She’s the roommate, from the perspectives of her three male roommates. She’s the girlfriend ideal, from the perspective of the innocent Tom.

    I’ll be honest though – I have a love-hate relationship with New Girl. Deschanel’s character bursts out in random song or reverts back to role of helpless damsel or clueless girl-woman sometimes. Though Deschanel argues this isn’t how she is offset, accepting this role as Jessica Day, the quirky and sometimes absent-minded teacher, undercuts her efforts at finding a new public image.

  5. Dressing feminine doesn’t have to be overpowering. Deschanel rocks the flats and modest heels and still exudes feminine appeal. Even without the show’s stylist, you can see that Deschanel embodies another decade and doesn’t desire to conform to popular trends.

    Femininity isn’t about cleavage bearing or towering heels, and compared to most Hollywood studded events, Deschanel knows how to play up her beauty in modest, yet stunning ways. If you’re not digging her 50s-inspired dresses then feel free to veer from her retro glam taste, but know that individualism and style are your most powerful assets.

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