I used to think this was bullshit.
I have spent years proclaiming hatred for the actress/singer/hipster darling Zooey Deschanel.
But I do not hate her anymore.
Here’s how it happened:
Hate Reason #1: The Lost Girl
I despised Zooey because I watched a bad movie called Winter Passing and she played the “lost girl” role. I then blamed her for the creation of this weak female archetype: Girl in her 20’s with less-than-perfect parents who has indiscriminate and unemotional sex with lots of men and is prone to suddenly moving from city to city. In this version of “lost girl”, she also drowns a kitten. The “lost girl” movie role is a two-dimensional excuse for a hot girl to be slutty (and therefore accessible) on screen.
How I talked myself out of Hate Reason #1
Zooey was a young brunette trying to make a career in acting. I’ve done more than a few lame things in my career as a writer to keep a paying job, so I get it. Besides, she didn’t write the role. A girl’s gotta pay the bills somehow.
Hate Reason #2: She’s Pretty
I got mad at Zooey Deschanel because she wears cute little girl dresses and she’s constantly blinking her big blue eyes under her flirty brunette bangs.
How I talked myself out of Hate Reason #2
I’m a brunette with bangs and blue eyes. Let’s face it. She does it waaaay better than I do. And after reading Lean In, I’m big enough to admit that I was just jealous.
Look man, I’m no slouch. But she just does it better. And I’m okay with that now.
Hate Reason #3: All the Boys Like Her
And it seems like every guy my age wants to do her.
How I talked myself out of Hate Reason #3
Jealous. Again. (Duh.)
Hate Reason #4: Her Music
Technically I never hated her music. I’m big enough now to admit that from the minute I heard She & Him’s (that’s her band) Why do You Let Me Stay Here song on the myspace page of a guy I drunkenly made out with then mystalked afterward, I loved her music. I even bought the She & Him Christmas album for God’s sake.
How I talked myself out of Hate Reason #4
I didn’t talk myself out of it…I just started talking about it out loud. Like a true coward, I used to only listen to She & Him by myself in the car.
Hate Reason #5: Her “Bad” Acting
Between Winter Passing, that horrible Wizard of Oz re-interpretation, and 500 Days of Summer, I did not have a high opinion of her acting.
How I talked myself out of Hate Reason #5
Let’s face it, those roles sucked. I’ve already explained the irritating lameness of “lost girl”. Dorothy wasn’t her fault. The writing was unforgettably awkward. And as far as 500 Days of Summer goes, Zooey actually did a pretty good job in an acting role that was designed to absorb the residual hate for some pathetic, self-victimizing, crybaby asshole who never got over his ex girlfriend (and then made a boring movie about it).
Love Reason #1: New Girl
Sure, the first few episodes play up the adorably quirky Zooey Deschanel caricature in an annoying way, but as the show moves on, things get better. Way better. In fact, when my Netflix binge ended on the last available episode, I felt sad for days that it was over. I’m still sad. She was hilarious in that show and I can’t wait to see more.
Because I love Zooey Deschanel.