Zooey Deschanel Pushes Back Against 'Manic Pixie Dream Girl' Label

Zooey Deschanel Pushes Back Against 'Manic Pixie Dream Girl' Label

Zooey Deschanel wants everyone to know that she's far from a "one-dimensional" stereotype.

Back in 2007, culture critic Nathan Rabin coined the term "Manic Pixie Dream Girl" to describe a quirky female love interest existing "solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures," as exemplified by movies like Elizabethtown and Garden State. In the years since though, the stereotype has been criticized as sexist, seeing as how the Manic Pixie Dream Girl's sole purpose is to aid the male protagonist.

That said, the arguable poster child for this trope was none other than Deschanel, who became a Hollywood It girl thanks to several whimsical and idiosyncratic starring roles, such as Summer in 500 Days of Summerand Jess Day in Fox's hit comedy sitcom show, New Girl.

However, the actress recently opened up about how little she identifies with the term and how inherently problematic it is in an interview with The Guardian from earlier this week, where she stated that she doesn't feel like "Manic Pixie Dream Girl" is an "accurate" descriptor of her.

"I'm not a girl. I'm a woman," as the 42-year-old explained. But while she went on to say that being referred to as a Manic Pixie Dream Girl" doesn't "hurt my feelings," she does believe "it's a way of making a woman one-dimensional and I'm not one-dimensional." And not only that, but Deschanel also believes it's something that continues to be perpetuated by Hollywood, as "the tendency is still to make women one-dimensional."

"You have to add dimension, if you can," she said. "The more screen time a female character gets, the more space there is to show complexities, but there has been a shift, so I'm optimistic."

You can read Deschanel's entire interview via The Guardian here.

Photo via Getty / Angela Weiss