Deschanel jumps the line


Zoe Deschanel fits into this post-feminism thing because she is smart, and she isn’t helpless, at least as far as her intelligence goes. Her major flaw has always been her awkwardness, and her in-ability to interact properly. We may say that Deschanel doesn’t need femenism because she gets the jobs, and she isn’t the helpless woman, in fact, most of the time she is rather unfeeling, but she still needs it. She is always seen as this quirky smart girl who just doesn’t get the fashion thing. She needs some “girl power” desperately. 


On the other hand though, she is too cute, too girly. That is why Deschanel is so weird, she toes the line between helplessly unable to be feminine, to being helplessly feminine. She does, quite frequently, play the “girl who doesn’t know what she wants” this is amazingly true in the episode of “the new girl.” Simultaneously though, Deschanel has these guy friends, and she is capable of being “one of the guys,” which may seem like a leap forward in feminism (I know some people who would think so at least,) but really, it isn’t. She is still seen as “the girl.” The boys hate it when she cries and still view here as the emotional time bomb of emotion, that apparently they can’t handle. They may seem like they are trying to be good friends, but only because they are afraid of what they think are “crazy emotions” that Deschanel shouldn’t have. 


So she’s got two personalities, cute and helpless, or emotionally unfeeling…. And helpless. Thats where she becomes so post-feminist, her characters may be able to inhabit all sorts of social roles, the bro, the teacher, the lover, the hater, the professional or the secretary, but she’s always got that little bit of helpless on the side. That little bit of immaturity to wrap things up. That part of her personality, that is ever present, is what destroys her ability to become a true feminist. Deschanel may seem like a powerful woman, but even in the episode of “the new girl” she ends up loosing her job, wearing a little sparkly hat, and putting on a pouty face. That isn’t really a powerful woman. She finally looses all of her dignity when she is deemed “not hot enough” to be a shot girl. WHY IS THAT THE LAST SHRED OF HER DIGNITY! She’s very pretty, she’s just not slutty and extreme. What? She needs to be slutty and extreme? And the person she wants to be is plainly very stupid. No, if she were a femenist in this character, the episode would have been about her loosing her job, and pulling herself back up, not down to the low “shot girl” persona. 


2 thoughts on “Deschanel jumps the line

  1. I don’t think the episode is about how she loses her dignity but rather regains it. When she dances on the table and then realizes what she’s doing she leaves and later realizes all she wanted to do was teach. She doesn’t want to be the shot girl she wants to raise herself above that. Also why can’t you be a feminist and wear a sparkly hat and have a pouty face? A social standpoint is separate from fashion sense and effusiveness.

  2. I agree with the above commentor- I see the shot girl situation more as Jess flirting with complete postfeminism, but ultimately realizing that self-objectification is not all that fulfilling. She defines herself by her career, and that is what is truly important to her in life. I do think that the helplessly feminine is a good point, that her hopelessly confused girly-girl thing is her strongest tie to postfeminism. However, she also knows what she wants, and takes control of her emotions. I think the helplessly feminine aspect of her persona is overpowered by her actual ability to figure things out.

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