Awkward Is The New Cool

April 24, 2012

These days, when I am not too busy wagging my finger at politicians, working the essay assembly line, or kissing my teeth at the –isms of the world…I am consuming insane amounts of comedy at the theatres or on my makeshift macbook/TV. Suspense? Historical fiction? Award winning wreath on the DVD? No thank you. There’s enough to wrinkle my brow at in real life, when I sit down to watch something, I want to laugh. In the spirit of escapism, I generally make comedy off-limits for any form of critical analysis (goodness-forbid I should ruin it). However, there is only so much social science education one can absorb before analysis becomes the default function, so alas here I am.

Every now and then, there is a new trend in popular culture that isn’t completely misogynistic and self-destructive. In between L-O-L’s, I think I’ve managed to find one such rarity. Now wouldn’t you believe it, female representations on screen are finally becoming human! Women are so often made to fit one of two extreme moulds, either: supermodel-supermom-superwife-carry-the-world-on-my-shoulders-woman OR ditsy-damsel-in-distress-don’t-know-who-I-am-without-my-man-woman. I’m going to hazard a guess and say that most real women are actually in between these extremes. For the sometimes smart, sometimes confused, sometimes strong, sometimes insecure, sometimes pretty, sometimes crusty-eyed, sometimes ambitious, sometimes lazy – kinda women…there is hope. You heard it here first, awkward is the new cool.

Here are my picks for Best Awkward Female Actress Starring in a Lead Role:

Joan is looking for love, but she’s looking for a man who can accept her, along with her career ambitions, incredible wardrobe, and semi-neurotic tendencies. All or nothing folks. (Girlfriends)

High school is rough, but Olive managed to get through it without selling her soul to Abercrombie and Fitch. And honestly, who hasn’t used the shower head as a microphone? (Easy A)

Jess just wants everyone to be happy. And usually she’s rainbows and polka dot happy. Unless she’s very sad. Then she’s crying one of those very, very ugly cries. (New Girl)

Liz is the glue that holds the network together. Though always well-intentioned, sometimes things just don’t come out sounding the way she hears it in her head. (30 Rock)

‘J’ is awkward. And black. Undeniably and unapologetically awkward and black. There is not an encounter, event, or occasion that J can’t turn into an uncomfortable too-painful-to-watch kind of moment. (Awkward Black Girl)

Annie feels threatened by beautiful women … and pre-pubescent girls. All she wants is her best friend back, and if it means she has to go undercover to find her, well then that’s just what she’ll have to do. (Bridesmaids)



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