On Friday night I happened to walk by a poster for Zooey Deschanel’s newest movie, 500 Days of Summer, and my eyes did a 360 degree roll in my head. It’s about the transience of modern love! Her character’s name is Summer, get it?!?!
My mind immediately filled with a vision of roughly a hundred boys/men I have known who have confessed their “secret” devotion to Zooey. They were lined up outside their nearest independently-run theatre, the floor grimy enough to indicate the extreme dedication to the craft of filmmaking, and staring up adoringly at a too-close screen to capture a moment of Zooey’s undeniable quirky wonderfulness.
It makes me want to throw up.
Now, my issue is not really with Ms. Deschanel herself. I like the She & Him album. A lot. I listen to it at least once a week, particularly when it’s sunny and I am in the presence of trees and I am wearing a pretty skirt, because it seems designed to be the soundtrack for that kind of soft-focus, indie hipster existence to which I occasionally aspire. (I am much too graceless to achieve it, but a girl can dream.)
No, my issue isn’t with Zooey herself. It’s with you guys. My issue is that I know you will tell me this is a “great” movie. I know that when I point out that Zooey always plays some version of “Summer,” and trust me, I don’t even have to see the movie to know who that character is, you will sort of agree and say, “But it’s a good character.” Then your eyes will dreamily wander over my shoulder as you dream of the inevitable encounter.
This is made all the more offensive, dudes, by the fact that I know you consider yourselves a cut above your average frat boy. No silicone for you dudes, no bottle blondes or string bikinis, but you like what you often refer to as “quirk.” By “quirk” you appear to mean that you’d like a girl not to act passively, to have a little personality, as they say. But what you’d like as much as that is for it to be an act, because fundamentally, quirk doesn’t threaten you. It doesn’t demand that you be anything different than what you are. It makes for cute outfits and the occasional crazy eye makeup, sure, but none of these require that you treat a woman like anything more than an empty vessel.
Because that’s what “Zooey Deschanel, indie princess” really is, you know. An empty vessel. She’s the girl that all the hipster guys of the universe have poured their dreams into. She’s not really a person so much as a cipher that you dudes worship, in the same, boring, empty way that men worship the much more “conventional” hotties.
So the next time you’re updating that Nerve.com profile and citing Zooey as your dream girl, keep in mind that you aren’t fooling us. We know what you want, and we know that no woman on earth is actually that unchallenging. Enjoy singledom.