First of all, I'm happy to report that since I began my enthusiastic campaign of liking Zooey Deschanel out of spite, we are now best friends and we totally play the most epic games of lasertag with the feral kittens in the Unicorn Forest every Thursday. I know you are way too busy to be jealous, because you're spending all your time having coffee with the guest lecturer at your university, Professor James Franco, so everything is great for all of us.

image of Zooey Deschanel at some event, smiling
Zooey Deschanel, actress, singer, activist, and not at all my friend,
but definitely a human being who seems pretty neato and not in a sarcastic way.

Anyway! Actress Zooey Deschanel did a new interview with Marie Claire magazine, and I really kind of hate the way the article is framed—the way it starts with a description of a younger, chubbier Zooey Deschanel getting bullied, which is the way lots of stories about her start, and the ubiquity of this frame begins to suggest to me it's a way of magazines almost apologizing for or justifying interviewing Deschanel, despite the fact she is a super popular actress in a very popular show, because there's all this backlash about how she is SO TERRIBLE because she has bangs and likes cute things.

Which makes it kind of ironic that the reason I am recommending the interview is because of the smart things Zooey Deschanel says about that very backlash:
Out there, too, is the mini backlash that once briefly threatened her. TV critics mocked her "adorableness" in the blogosphere. Then in 2011, she was hanging out with actor Ben Schwartz (Parks and Recreation) and her business partner, Sophia Rossi, with whom she cofounded a TV production company and a humor website for girls, HelloGiggles.com [where snark, gossip, and cursing are not allowed]. Deschanel was a Twitter neophyte (she has 4.5 million followers now) when she noticed that cutesy things like a kitten hugging a baby were what got the most retweets. She bet Schwartz and Rossi that if she tweeted "I wish everyone looked like a kitten," she would get 100 retweets in 10 minutes. "I did, and then a lot of people were like, 'What the fuck! Who said that? How stupid you are.'" Comedian Julie Klausner denounced the tweet on Tumblr, declaring that Deschanel's girlish image was bad for women. (Klausner later toned down her remarks.)

"My theory is that people in this day and age want to dismiss things. So they want to be able to dismiss you," Deschanel says. "They say, 'You don't belong, you don't deserve this because here's why, and let me find an intellectual argument for why you wearing pink or cuff sleeves or a bow makes you not worthy of your accomplishments. Everything you've done doesn't matter because you wore the wrong thing or you speak in a way that's feminine or you identify yourself as feminine.' And I just think that's bullshit. And smart people are doing it, and that's surprising to me. I'll give them being smart, but they're being very shortsighted.

"It's just attacking who I am," she continues. "A lot of times it doesn't have to do with what I get paid to do. It has to do with, 'Oh, you stupid person.'" Part of the reason she started her website was to create a positive place online for girls. "Even I get slammed and overwhelmed by how negative the Internet can get, and I'm an adult."
Women who have "girlish images" (and that's not how I'd describe Deschanel, but okay) are not "bad for women." People who are hostile to women with "girlish images" because they reflexively associate girlishness and/or traditional femininity with a humanity that is inherently less than are bad for women.

Also, I like this:
Is having children on her priority list? "I'm not going to answer that question. I'm not mad at you for asking that question, but I've said it before: I don't think people ask men those questions."
Boom. She's in fine company with that one.

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