So, the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope has recently come to my attention. A friend (you know who you are) was described this way.
Here’s the definition, according to Wikipedia, where everything is always absolutely true. At least in the case of pop culture:
The Manic Pixie Dream Girl (MPDG) is a stock character in films. Film critic Nathan Rabin, who coined the term after seeingKirsten Dunst in Elizabethtown (2005), describes the MPDG 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.” MPDGs are said to help their men without pursuing their own happiness, and such characters never grow up, thus their men never grow up.
In addition to Kirstin Dunst’s character in Elizabethtown, we also have Zooey Dechanel in just about everything she’s ever done, most notably New Girl. Also from that we have the term I wish would immediately be banned from the English language: adorkable.
I think there’s also been a trend in knitting toward the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. And I’ll tell you right now, I’m falling for it. Hard. Do I want to? Not necessarily. Do I find myself sucked into patterns that are undeniably…cute? Yes.
Exhibit A: Ysolda Teague’s Roisin Hood. I love this thing, even though it’s a mix between an elf cap and an old-woman’s plastic rain hood. Yet, I love the challenge of it, and honestly, it’s been so crazy windy weird weather here in SF, with heavy fog to come, that it’s incredibly useful.
Exhibit B: Almost anything by Tiny Owl Knits, but specifically the Bo Peep Bow thingy. Again, I love this, but should I? Realistically, would it look good on moi, who typically wears jeans and sweatshirts every day? Hm…And yet, color me charmed.
Exhibit C: the Beulah Cardigan, in the Spring 2012 edition of Knitscene. Could be retro, but the awesome bright yellow color fits it squarely in MPDG territory. Again, I love it it, despite its girlish leanings.
What say ye, dear readers? Do you believe that MPDG’s (which I also believe can be guys, given the right circumstances), are balls of fairy-dusted delight, in touch with their inner children, and thus spark joy in others? Or have we taken a big step back from the feminist revolution, devolving into quirky, hipster girl women who act only as foils for the outside world? Does it matter? And up to what age is MPDG appropriate and not just plain sad? And most importantly, most importantly of all, what are your favorite MPDG patterns?
Put on your big girl panties and deal with it in the comments.