The loveable, yet quirky, girl
This trope has been around a long time, and was once dubbed the “manic pixie dream girl.” This particular feminine stereotype describes women who are eccentric, quirky, or just downright weird. They’re free spirits who capture the heart of their straighter-laced male suitors. They embody the idea of opening their sheltered or immature lovers’ hearts and help them understand what a beautiful and wonderful we live in.
This trope has evolved, thanks in most part to Zooey Deschanel and her character Jess Day, on the FOX series, New Girl. Jess is described as “adorkable” which has come to mean that she’s equal parts dorky and adorable. Although this is mildly sexist in its own right, in it’s first conception it was a bit freeing. These types of girls aren’t ashamed to reveal their nerdiness or esoteric personality quirks. Their style is a healthy mix of old lady clothes mixed in with a toddler’s wardrobe, and their sheer awkwardness makes them even more attractive.
For the dorky, awkward girls of the world like me, this feels like validation. At first. Now it just sort of feels like another beauty standard we have to fit into. I love a good A-line dress as much as the next girl, but so much of this trope’s schtick is performance, even though (I believe) it was designed to push back against that ideal.
Examples: New Girl, Friends, The O.C, and Breaking Bad