For anyone unaware of the term “manic pixie dream girl” it was first coined by film critic Nathan Rabin in 2007 – although the character trope has been around for decades.
His description of this awful character is perfectly spot-on: “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.”
We’ve all seen this girl in movies – and even in real life – she’s Summer Finn from 500 Days of Summer, Penny Lane from Almost Famous, Ramona Flowers from Scott Pilgrim, Holly Golightley from Breakfast at Tiffany’s and even Hannah Baker from 13 Reasons Why.
All of these female characters have tiny quirks that their male “counterparts” consider their entire persona.
It becomes the only thing the men in their lives can focus on, dream about and fall in love with.
If you’re looking to become a MPDG, or want to avoid it at all costs, the following list is for you.
How to act:
1. You must always be chipper and happy.
You’ve never gotten into an argument with anyone and every day is be better than the last. The sound of singing birds is probably your alarm in the morning.
2. Quirkiness is a given.
Do strange things like wear different colored shoes or eat pancakes for dinner. You must insist that whatever you’re doing is completely normal, and that other people are the weird ones.
3. You have to have a sense of mystery.
Leave them wondering: “what did she mean by that?”, “where did she come from?”, “what does she do?” A true MPDG tells her partner nothing about her personal life, he needs to imagine it all on his own. Which is what he wants to do anyway.
4. Be polite.
Your manners must be impeccable, but you still have to appreciate the occasional curse word. You always say please and thank you, especially if he does something for you.
How to look:
1. As a MPDG, you have a requirement to be effortlessly stunning at all times.
Every man who comes across you must do a double take and think you’re the most beautiful thing he’s ever laid eyes on. Of course, you must never acknowledge this, you have to stay humble.
2. Consider wearing skirts or dresses, regardless of the weather.
You can just throw on a patterned scarf or a fun jacket if you get cold.
3. You must be dressed casually, but not too casually.
Find the fine line between the two. Just rolled out of bed and you’re wearing sweats? Never. A sweater that’s perfectly oversized and a no-makeup makeup look? Perfect.
4. Vintage clothing is crucial.
Whether it be a dress from the 50s, a jacket from the 70s or sunglasses from the 20s, a good MPDG must own something from another era.
What to like:
1. You must like the same music he does.
This is where his obsession usually stems from, so make sure to always be in record stores looking for the next song to impress him with.
2. You play video games and don’t nag him to do the dishes.
And on that note, you never take too long to get dressed and you never get too drunk at parties. He’s never embarrassed to have you around his friends because he knows you’ll always be on his side.
3. You’ve gotta eat – but never gain weight, of course.
He likes a girl with a healthy appetite and is so happy you didn’t try to order a salad – even if you genuinely like them.
There you go, a few simple steps you can follow to become the manic pixie girl of every guy’s dreams. You’re welcome.