In order “to teach a broodingly soulful young man to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures,” as per the definition of Manic Pixie Dream Girl posted on wikipedia, you must first assemble a Manic Pixie Dream Team composed of 5 or more of your most inspirational Golightlys.
I came up with this Manic Pixie Dream Team:
Audrey Hephburn as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany‘s
Looking amazing all the time is important no matter what they tell you. Who’s they? If you don’t know, who cares.
Hannah Murray as Cassie Ainsworth in Skins 1st gen
It’s weird when someone takes the idea you had of yourself as a teen and fictionalizes it. Mirrors are important.
Blanche Dubois (Viviene Leigh in Streetcar Named Desire)
No to realism. Yes to magic. That’s the motto.
Anna Karina (in anything)
Woman is the cause of all suffering? Might as well be whimsical about it.
I’ve noticed moreso recently, but for a while, this backlash against the Manic Pixie Dream Girl prototype found in movies. I guess I could put some supportive links here.
If you Google Manic Pixie Dream Girl most of the articles are of a negative tone. Not all of them. But most of them. A lot of these mainstream media articles talk about Manic Pixie Dream Girls being an invention of the past decade, when only that phrase was invented in the past decade. Characters that fall under the descriptors of an MPDG have existed since almost the inception of movies, possibly story telling. Fucking Eve from the Garden of Eden was a Manic Pixie Dream Girl if you don’t think about it.
I want to counter this backlash because I don’t see it as a backlash against a movie trope or fictional character type. It’s a backlash against a woman role that doesn’t comfortably fit into the patriarchally ordained types that women are allowed to be (mothers, virgins, sluts and bitches).
The Manic Pixie Dream Girl was for me the first time I saw a character that reminded me of me. I never saw myself in movies or television. I’m a first generation American hispanic female raised in poverty in one of the richest cities in the world and fully assimilated into American Culture. You don’t see me too much in mainstream media.
The Manic Pixie Dream girl is AT LEAST my personality. After the first time I saw Vivienne Leigh as Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire, I had to rewatch the movie 3 more times because that character hit so close to home.
“I don’t want realism I want magic” is the battle call of the Golightly.
Maybe we can kill the phrase “Manic Pixie Dream Girl”. I’ve always thought Manic Pixie Dream Girl describes the character ideally, tbh, but maybe it does ring a little agitating. Manic and Pixie are both very intense characteristics and might subconsciously evoke anxiety. They’re also very consonant strong sounds with those strong C and X sounds, which just aren’t pleasant sounding. And people hate on the word Girl for no reason. So maybe this phrase is what people actually hate. Because the character has been around forever and is never going away. We’ll call them Golightlys.