What happens when quirky becomes the new normal?
We are living in a glorious age where offbeat, unconventional women are not only being celebrated in film and on TV, but dethroning otherwise normal girls as the new leading ladies. But is it too much quirk too soon?
Attention all conventionally beautiful, shallow, uninteresting women: You have officially been phased out. Step aside for the supportive-best-friends-cum-leading-ladies, whose unpredictability and depth only make them more desirable. Unless you are socially inept, surly, have curves or read a lot, you need not vie for the leading role in any popular television show or movie.
Yes, ladies, it's the age of the quirky girl. We're not entirely sure when the official memo was released, but over the past couple of years, we've seen an explosion of anti-heroines on our TV and movie screens. As if 30 Rock's Liz Lemon and Parks and Rec's Leslie Knope weren't already enough, we are now treated to a healthy weekly diet of New Girl's Jess, Don't Trust the B----'s Chloe, 2 Broke Girls' Max and Caroline and basically the entire cast of Girls. And let's not forget that motley crew from Bridesmaids, Lisbeth Salander of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Hunger Games' Katniss Everdeen. These ladies laugh in the face of convention and then proudly dance embarrassing victory dances in triumph. The quirky girls are here to stay.
But what does this mean for a quirky girl several years down the road? We're thrilled that three-dimensional, atypical women are finally being represented so strongly in our media, but is it too much too soon? With so many women on TV and in film trying to out-quirk one another, we may quickly grow desensitized to the once charming effects of the offbeat girl next door. At this rate, quirky may very well become the new normal.
We've already seen it happen to the boys: Over the past several years, there has been a meteoric rise in the number of films and TV shows that celebrate average joes and underdogs. ThinkHow I Met Your Mother, The Office and basically anything involving Judd Apatow. While we still enjoy watching Jason Segel struggle with his awkwardness but eventually get the girl, the whole genre is getting a little predictable and, dare we say, tired. We're starting to really crave the days when Freddie Prinze Jr. was nothing but a suave dreamboat for an entire movie and yet still managed, despite his adept social skills and good looks, to get the girl.
We'd really like this reign of quirky girls to last longer than our patience can withstand. And so we ask anyone planning to contribute to our current list of favourite offbeat TV and movie characters to, if possible, just take a breather for a second. Let the conventional girls shine again, even if for a brief moment. To sustain a healthy amount of quirk, it must be tempered with a dose of normal. Otherwise, all the weird girls next door will move away to make room once again for the uncomplicated ones. And who knows how long it will then take for the next quirky girl era to begin?