Tag Archives: Zooey Deschanel

I Have Met The Black Zooey Deschanel, and She Is Not Zoe Kravitz…

Zoe Kravitz

…but she might be at Zoe’s show.

Monday night, I headed down to Black Cat to check out the J*Davey show. In the back room, sans air conditioning, an entire room full of alternablack folks waited for Jack and Brook to hit the stage. While I was waiting, I noticed the sheer diversity of black womanhood represented. Afros, braids, wigs, weaves, relaxers, dreads. Heels, Chucks, ballet flats, Birkenstocks. Women dressed like Jack Davey spoke to women dressed like Nicole Ritchie. Women in wrap dresses and heels swayed uncomfortably on the hard cement floor.

The first opening act was a lost cause, so Boyfriend and I ducked out for a burrito break. But we made it back in time to enjoy the second opening act, Elevator Fight.

Since the only glimpse of Zoe I’ve had is her screen sulking through X-Men: First Class, I was interested in seeing her persona as a frontwoman.  Most of the pics of Kravitz have her associated with this ethereal, elven queen, semi-bohemian, flowy 70s glam.  At first glance, it is totally possible to assume she’s on that same train as Zooey.  Come on –  she even lives in Williamsburg, which is the Holy City of Hipster Madness.  But there’s still a few things that seperate the Zoes of the world from the Zooeys. Kravitz appeared on stage wearing a black knit cap over messy hair and a shirt about seventeen sizes too large – her other stage outfits have ranged from conventional to rocker chic.  At twenty-two years of age, it’s clear that the kid is still trying on her personas.  As Jack Davey blew bubbles from the side of the stage, Zoe screamed out her triumph about gay marriage passing in New York, pledged to marry Jack, took shots with her band, and babbled her way through song intros.  She came off as anything but whimsical, and her rich vocals complemented songs titled “Post Empire” and “New Pussy.”  There was not a ukelele to be seen, but she did do an impressive headbang with one of her bandmates.

By the time she started yelling lewd comments when Jack Davey mentioned the fan was “blowing into [her] mouth,” I figured that if Zoe ever was mistaken for a manic pixie dream girl, she’d probably punch that guy in the head and make off with his jacket. Kravitz can pull off the look like a champion, but the trope – and what the idea implies about who she will and will not be publicly – is far too limiting.

Earlier: Who Is the Black Zooey Deschanel?

Who Is the Black Zooey Deschanel?

By Guest Contributor Tami Winfrey Harris, crossposted from What Tami Said

I had a great Twitter conversation yesterday with @AndreaPlaid, @AnnaHolmes and @Amaditalks. We were talking about Julie Klausner’s recent post on Jezebel, “Don’t fear the dowager: a valentine to maturity.” Klausner’s post, lamenting the trend of grown women adopting childish personas, is sort of a companion to all the similar pieces about modern men living in a state of perpetual boyhood. She writes:

There’s so much ukulele playing now, it’s deafening. So much cotton candy, so many bunny rabbits and whoopie pies and craft fairs and kitten emphera, and grown women wearing converse sneakers with mini skirts. So many fucking birds.

Girls get tattoos that they will never be able to grow into. Women with master’s degrees who are searching for life partners, list “rainbows, Girl Scout cookies, and laughing a lot” under “interests, on their Match.com profiles. Read more…

Anna is quoted in a similar article from The Daily Beast about websites launched by Jane Pratt and Zooey Deschanel.

But when the site xoJane.com was finally unveiled a few weeks ago—minus Gevinson’s involvement (though she says she will be launching a sister site in a few months), the reaction was less than stellar. Writer Ada Calhoun, on her blog 90sWoman, called out the site for its incessant namedropping (Michael Stipe was mentioned nine times the first day), writing: “The chatty, best-friends-realness voice feels put-on and costume-y, like too-big heels.”

Perhaps part of that disappointment stems from the improbable goal of including 48 year olds and 12 year olds under one roof. The result is a seemingly permanent state of girlishness that any professional woman over the age of 30 should cringe at, but one that Pratt pushes with abandon.

“I actually blame Bonnie Fuller,” said Anna Holmes, the founder of Jezebel.com, referencing the former Glamour and Us Weekly editor, whose penchant for bright pink cursive handwriting scrawled all over the pages of her magazines and websites has nabbed her million dollar paychecks—and, unfortunately, permeated the lady mag and gossip set.

With such tickle-me-hormonal content online, it makes one wonder, where is the content for women who want the equivalent of GQ, with sharp articles about powerful women and fascinating trend stories, written by writers as good as Tom Wolfe or Joan Didion? Where are the fashion spreads that make you feel aspirational, not inadequate? Must everything be shot through with a shade of red or pink? And does everything have to end with an exclamation point? Read more…

The Klausner article generated a ton of push back on Jezebel. I suspect because the manic pixie dream girl persona is “in” right now and everyone wants to feel like they choose their own choices. In this case, that means that some women want to believe that their predilection for rompers and kittens and baby voices reflects their individual personalities and not some trend toward retro, non-threatening femaleness. But no one chooses their choices in a vacuum and certainly it means something that so many women seem to be finding this super-girlish, childish part of their personalities at the same time, while Katy Perry’s sex and candy persona is tearing up the charts and actual little girls are being bombarded with pink, purple, princesses, tulle and sparkles.

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