Tuesday, 10 January 2012

A thought about girls on screens.

Today I had a thought about girls on screens. I have recently been to see The Artist, and yes, I loved the Dog (incidentally I follow the Dog on Twitter. His name is Uggie and there is a petition for him to be nominated for an Oscar), but what I loved most of all was Peppy Miller. She is honest, vibrant, daring and after she draws a fake beauty spot on her lip she's hollywoods sweetheart. And she achieves all this without opening her mouth once.

There is something of an influx of girls on my screen that I feel a massive affinity to. What with the charms of Peppy Miller, mixed with Christina Ricci working her quippy come-backs and blue uniform in Pan Am and having just been introduced to Jess of New Girl, I'm basically turning into a prolific lesbian. And don't even get me started on Joan-from-Mad-Men.

So what is it about girls wanting to read, know and watch women they feel inspired by? You don't catch men saying 'I felt such a connection to Tony Soprano' (probably a good thing) or 'I really relate to Peter Griffin and his portrayal of the common man.' But when reviewing female characters, this is something which is frequently examined.

I recently read a write up about Zooey Deschanel's character in New Girl by The Evening Standard's Rosamund Urwin. She stated that Zooey is 'twee to the extreme: a bundle of "kooky" quirks rather than a fully developed character'. This leads me to imagine that Ms Urwin hasn't met many 20 year olds. Maybe she hasn't been a 20 year old. But whilst I haven't watched Dirty Dancing on a loop, I could most certainly be accused of watching Clueless two or more nights in a row, and the flocking on my Sex and the City boxset has almost completely worn off. Some of us accidentally run over pigeons when roller blading, cry their eyebrows off and pull really unladylike dance moves, even when people are looking.

So why is it that women are so willing to relate to our on-screen counterparts? I think fundamentally, if anything, it is to reassure ourselves that our increasingly odd behaviour does not render us insane. These potentially iconic female characters are a welcome relief from the significantly fewer dimensioned characters like, for example, the Gossip Girls. Although this doesn't result in me switching over. It just works much better for background viewing whilst I finish my knitting.

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