(500) Days of Postfeminism: A Multidisciplinary Analysis of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl Stereotype in its Contexts

Lucía Gloria Vázquez Rodríguez

Resumen


In 2007, after watching Elizabethtown (2005), film critic Nathan Rabin coined the term Manic Pixie Dream Girl in order to describe a nascent filmic female trope as “that bubbly, shallow cinematic creature that exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures” (2007). Since then, the concept acquired enormous widespread cultural currency, and the type of female characters responding to the stereotype multiplied, although not a single thorough scrutiny of its gender values has been undertaken from the Academia, perhaps due to the fact that independent (“indie”) productions – where most of these characters are found – provide their films with a certain patina of ideological credibility. However, with her performance of traditional cute (Ngai, 2012), girlish femininity, her vulnerability, her neoliberal sexual freedom, and, above all, her being-for-the-Other, the Manic Pixie Dream Girl perhaps constitutes the most powerful embodiment of postfeminist ideologies within independent cinema.  In addition, her carpe diem philosophy and her “hipster” aesthetics speak directly to the idiosyncrasy of our time, characterized, as Slavoj Zizek (1994) explains, by a social injunction to “Enjoy!.”


Palabras clave


Postfeminismo; Manic Pixie Dream Girl; (500) Dias Juntos; Zooey Deschanel; cine indie; feminidad

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