10 Ways To Spot A Manic Pixie Dream Girl

10 Ways To Spot A Manic Pixie Dream Girl

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We've all see it in the movies, or even witnessed it in real life. (Who says that life can't imitate film?) It's that one trope that we knew growing up, but couldn't exactly put our finger on it because we weren't sure what to call it. However, we recognized that it was quirky, eccentric and it is interesting and kind of . . . endearing in a way. But what was it? Today, the stigma has become more seemingly popular than ever - especially on the internet - leaving audiences intrigued and hilariously confused at the same time. Okay, I should probably get to the point, huh? What is this magical role, you ask? Let me tell you . . . Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Let me rephrase that: The Majestic Manic Pixie Dream Girl.

Have you heard of it? I'm guessing that most of you out there have.

I'm not going to lie, I've been personally fascinated with this stock character for about a year now. I honestly don't know what it is. Maybe it's my weird fascination with different roles in stories and movies, or in life in general. Maybe it's because The Manic Pixie Dream Girl relates to sexism, feminism and how the world sometimes portrays women - that is, if you wanna get into all that fun stuff. Either way, I'm not going to make this article about the serious concept of the lovely MPDG. I'm going to fill you in on how you can tell when someone is a Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Sounds exciting, right? With these following signs, you can go out and look for your own Manic Pixie to teach you the meaning of life, to help you forget about the troubles in your world and to go frolicking in a cool unknown record store while playing a ukulele. So hey, let's start.

1, The way that they dress.

So this is an important one. The way a Manic Pixie Dream girl dresses is crucial. Not all the time, but most of the time you can catch the MPDG wearing something vintage, retro, or all in all cutesy. However, I believe that there are two specific categories of the MPDG style: punk and girly. Take for example Ramona Flowers from Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. She would fall into more of the punk MPDG category, due to her constantly dyed hair (from blue, to pink, to green, etc.) her bright colored leggings matched with her jean shorts, her bad ass leather jacket, topped off with her star-bag. She stands out because she's different, she has that "I don't care, I'm going to do my own thing" attitude and her style amplifies that. She's obviously unique. On the other hand, there is Indie darling Zooey Deschanel, who definitely lands in the vintage category. This one is a given. Have you seen (500) Days of Summer? Her entire wardrobe is pretty much Mod Cloth. From the lacy dresses, the hair bow accessories, and her bangs . . . YES BANGS, The Manic Pixie Dream Girl has her eccentric look locked down.

2. The music that they listen to and the films they watch.

One word. Okay, four words: Underground. Indie. Alternative. Obscure. You'll know that they're at least a little bit of an MPDG if they listen to bands like The Shins, The Unicorns, The Smiths, The Submarines, The Pixies, Camera Obscura or Death Cab For Cutie. At least ... just a little bit. Especially when they constantly quoting song lyrics for said bands and use them in multiple situations in life, like there is some weird, ironic sort of connection that will make life seem like it makes a lot of sense. Oh, and concerts. Concerts are their thing. And trust me, they will make it known. As for film, The Manic Pixie Dream Girl is usually interested in French foreign films, or foreign films in general. (Ha ha, I'm getting so specific) They also like independent based films that have a deeper meaning over something really simple.


3. Their "mystifying" life.

Oddly enough, you don't really know much about them. Sure, they might talk about how they lost their virginity at camp when they were fifteen, but do you really know their lives? They're like this fickle little creature who likes to talk about the little details that have happened to them - the exciting and weird things - but they leave out most of the big picture, like their family, where they actually grew up. They might have a tendency of over exaggerating and bending the truth just to sound that much more interesting. Everything is seemingly simple. We have to wonder what their backstory truly is, but it is sadly never revealed, now is it?

4. They have seem complicated ... and they like to make that known.

It's just something that they seem to thrive in, and through the pain and agony, they make it work. What is so attractive and appealing about being confusing and complicated is beyond me. It's like their issues are something that makes them totally endearing and it's kind of annoying and frustrating. And for some weird reason, guys absolutely love it. Like, love it. And then we end up feeling sorry for the guy because he looks really pathetic. But theeeen we feel bad because we know that we would probably find it adorable as well.

5. They're spontaneous.

Manic Pixie Dream Girls cannot sit still. Their life is a non stop en-devour after the other. Life can never ever be boring. Maybe they'll change up their style, skip town without telling friends or family, spend the night in a hotel room three states away, take a boat over to the next country . . . or maybe more simpler things like dying their hair hot pink, adopting a stray cat, or deciding one day that they want to pick up a new hobby, like antique collecting. I don't know - you get the picture. Never ever dull.

6. They're just plain adorable.

Do I really have to delve into this one? Every single film we have seen that portrays the Manic Pixie Dream Girl has accentuated absolute and utter cuteness. Summer Finn, Ruby Sparks, Sam from Garden State, Claire from Elizabethtown, even Holly Golightly from Breakfast At Tiffany's is adorable. Either way, they have those trademark quirks that make men go weak in the knees.

7. They make you feel "alive" and life is worth living.

Life is one big adventure after the next and there is never a dull moment - not for the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. A moment with this girl is everything. You feel excited about EVERYTHING. It's literally never boring, even through small conversations over coffee in the morning. She makes you really ponder stuff, things that you never noticed before. Before you met her, you were brooding and wallowing in your self loathing. But then, she came along on her vintage bicycle and practically everything around you is sunshine and rainbows. What is this madness!? You're smiling at the mean guy at work who almost got you fired, and you're making complimenting your boss. You're not complaining one bit, but it's like your life has been turned upside down over night. There is nothing but pure optimism and motivation in your veins.


8. They're always dorky or clutzy, and they seemingly make that known...

They always have to make their quirks known, as if they aren't high lighted enough already. Maybe she sings and dances in public bathrooms and act like "they totally didn't know someone could walk in." Suuuure. They soooo wanted to get caught and feel cute in that moment. The Manic Pixie Dream Girl like to make up music videos in their own situation. I mean, I know most people do that already, but MPDGs like to skip down the street in their lacy dress from ModCloth.com and feel like they're some small town girl stuck in a boring city - filled with absolute wanderlust and they just don't belong. They say things like "I pay the cab driver with buttons" or "I make music inside of my head" or other painfully adorable things that make you want to stab yourself in the eyes because it's just. so. damn. cute. AGH. Yes. You're cute. WE GET IT.

9. They're usually creative in one way or another.

And they have interesting hobbies, that are actually pretty cool. Either they're a painter, a freelance writer, a poet, a photographer or a musician and they love to read. But again, that is the stereotype of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. However, these hobbies and/or occupations make them seem like the perfect partner because they're so full of wisdom, wit, knowledge and creativity. The brooding boy wants that in his life because he wants that creative void in his life to be filled. I mean . . . I kind of don't blame him. Creative, artsy girls rock.

10. They're kind of unattainable.

This kind of sucks for the brooding boy. He's come so far trying to win her heart, to escape the "friend zone" (though many people believe that the friend zone is non existent.) There is something much more irresistible about something that you can't have - especially this kind of girl! In the film (500) Days of Summer, the character Summer Finn is Tom Hanson's object of desire, and when she tells him that she isn't looking for anything serious (sorry for the spoiler for those who haven't seen the movie) his desire for her becomes stronger in that he wants to hold onto her even more. What's up MPDG? You have to be so perfect, yet so hard to obtain.

The most important thing to keep in mind, is that The Manic Pixie Dream Girl is merely a figment of your imagination at the whole. They're people, just like you ... with backstories, just like you. They're created from the figment of your imagination, but that doesn't make them any less realistic. The qualities listed above were for entertainment purposes, however, these attributes do actually exist. Aren't tropes interesting or what??

Popular Right Now

WALK THE MOON's Press Restart Tour Comes To Denver

If positivity had a sound, it would be the Press Restart tour.
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Last night WALK THE MOON brought their A-game at the Ogden Theater in Denver. This vibrant Indie, pop-rock, feel-good, group is currently on their Press Restart tour featuring songs from their newest album release, What If Nothing. The album captures a lot of their original sound, while also encapsulating some of the rawer, more implicit lyrics linked to life, passion, and the meanings of both. If positivity had a sound, it would be the Press Restart tour.

The members of this band are all overwhelmingly talented. Front-man, Nicholas Petricca, is a phenomenal pianist, singer, dancer, and synthesizer. He handles the lead vocals and a lot of the background harmonies, but what's most special about him is his energy. This latest album features a lot of inspiration drawn from his recent experimentation in spirituality and that was evident at the venue last night. Nich quite literally filled the venue with this elated, almost magnetic atmosphere that really draws you into his set and makes you feel alive. It somehow connects you to him, not just as an artist, but as a person, and as a soul. His vulnerability on stage creates a sort of "oneness" between the crowd and the band.

Likewise, slappa-da-bass member Kevin Ray impressed me as always last night. Kevin is ridiculously good at multitasking and that was apparent on stage as he played bass, aided in percussion, and made intimate connections with audience members somehow simultaneously. If you're lucky enough to find yourself on Kevin Ray's side of the stage during a show, you're in for a treat as his interaction is really unlike any other. He seeks out smiles from every person on the floor and will make sure to smile back as soon as he sees that you're looking. He makes sure to get to everyone in the crowd and he makes the experience very personal and intimate. His ultimate goal is just to make sure that everyone is having the time of their life, and he effortlessly accomplished this last night.

The band also includes members Sean Waguaman on drums and Eli Maiman on lead guitar. Sean is like Superman with sticks. He went hard all night long and really embodied what is is to be a non-stop entertainer. If he has a kyrptonite, I definitely didn't see it last night in Denver. Likewise, lead guitarist Eli Maiman played the guitar like you wouldn't believe. He has a special skill for making the guitar sound like something that's not a guitar. His solos provide the sounds for Petricca's atmosphere. His guitar had a voice, and when I listened, it spoke. This tour is also special because the foursome is accompanied by friend and percussioinst, Lachland "Lucky" West and he elevated the live sound by bringing a little something extra to the group that you can't hear outside of a live show.

So, unless slapping on some face-paint, listening to uplifting rock music, and dancing your heart out with a crowd full of people as happy as you doesn't sound like your cup of tea, I highly encourage you to go see WALK THE MOON the next time they come to Colorado. This band is different. Good different.

Cover Image Credit: ellapizarrophoto.com

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Send All Therapy Bills to the Prom Committee

Cue the pig's blood.
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It's about damn time someone addressed the elephant in the room: school dances.  For decades now, we as adolescents accepted the horror, the emotionally traumatic experience of a school dance.  Our parents encouraged us to go, our peers expected us, and the media blew the entire occasion out of proportion with examples like Footloose and Back to the Future.

I survived several school dances and I will tell you right now, Kevin Bacon never showed up to one and never would my entire graduating class have banded together to turn a mill into a suitable dance hall, even if Kenny Loggins did serenade us the entire time with songs about being free and heaven helping the man.  Nor did Micheal J. Fox make an appearance with a prepared guitar solo in hand and I know I didn't but did anyone ever feel especially enchanted or under the sea while at a dance?

I didn't think so.  It's practically impossible to feel anything remotely positive while at a mandatory school dance. Even if you do gather the courage to ask a girl to dance or get lucky enough to be the one asked and therefore rescued from the lonely corner of cowering teenage girls, you stay about six inches apart from each other (leaving room for Jesus if you're at a Catholic school, leaving room for your hormones to rage at any other school) which doesn't really help in elevating the romance of the moment.   Not to mention the all too intimate atmosphere created inside the same gym that the basketball team sweats in during the winter and everyone else sweats in during assemblies and pep rallies throughout the year.  Yes, the humidity in the air that the poor girls with curly 80s Jennifer Beals hair try to counteract with hairspray and gel: that’s the lingering sweat of your peers.  Breathe it in.


But wait, there’s more! Yes, not to worry, there’s more factors contributing to this school dance ritual. 

Has anyone thought to argue with the sadistic reality that dances are only forced on us during the most awkward and insecure time in our lives?  There are no dances before 6th grade, when crippling insecurity hasn’t rooted itself so deeply in your growing-pained bones, and there are hardly any formal dances after the age of 18, when everyone is mature enough to know how to ask and accept a dance, or at least give it a shot.  They only occur when we are so hormonally unstable that getting a blue fruit roll up in our lunch instead of a red one could set us off.  We worried enough about the shirt we put on or whether our mom kissed us goodbye when she dropped us off in the morning, why on Earth did someone decided to pile on school dances?  Because that’s exactly what teenagers need: more opportunities for peer pressure and social anxiety. 

So if you’re a boy, you worry about asking a girl out and there’s the matter of how to ask her out and which girl and when to do it and where to do it and how many of your friends are going to post it on Snapchat (earlier generations didn’t have to worry about this at least) and what. If. She. Says. No?!

Well, you may as well just curl up and die right there on the cafeteria floor.

And if you’re a girl you worry about what to wear and whether or not someone will ask you and if someone does, you have to say yes to the right person because obviously who you go to the seventh grade dance with is a vital decision in your life, and what about if no one asks you?  Do you go by yourself and hope someone asks you to dance during one of the three slow songs or do you stay home with your cat and a Hillary Duff movie?

And let’s not forget the fact that social dance isn’t taught anymore so if a slow song does come on and you do happen to have a partner, you don’t have a clue where to put your arms and where you should look and whether or not it’s normal to have your feet stepped on or to be the one stepping on the girl's feet every other second.

Does anyone see a benefit here?

I was talking to my friend about the violation of humanity in forcing only adolescents to attend formal dances and he’s of the opinion that it’s the administration giving themselves an opportunity to watch middle and high schoolers alike suffer.  And while it’s a humorous and possible reason, I don’t know that it’s all the way true.  The majority of administrators and teachers hate school dances.  They have to haggle and barter and threaten one another's parking spots just to get enough chaperones and, especially for high school dances, they spend at least half the year trying to rally enough funds to host said dances.  'Do it for the children,' they tell parents as they stand diligently behind the Prom Fund donation box during soccer games.  Unless your child is Homecoming King or Queen material, they'd prefer that you didn't 'do it for the children' thank you very much. 

But parent guilt is an all powerful persuader so Mom or Dad pay the recommended $10 donation and  eventually the school gains enough money to put on the Homecoming or Freshman dance or the all hallowed Prom and all the students buy their dresses that they'll be tugging at all night, whether their boobs are too big or too small, and the high heels that they can't walk in yet and will inevitably ditch at the door and suits that always hang a little awkwardly on shoulders that haven't quite filled out or arms that are too long for the sleeves.  They will huddle in groups, their palms dripping with sweat and their hearts terrifyingly rabbit-like, as if awaiting to be herded on to the train for Auschwitz.  Then 'Choo, Choo!'--"Hero" by Enrique Iglesias comes on and it's time to accept your fate and get on the train (ask the girl to dance/await your suitor in the corner) or bolt for the bathrooms to wait out the song.  If you're like I was at my Freshman dance in high school, you'll choose option B and wait out those lingering, humiliating 3 minutes in the bathroom with 30 other girls.

So maybe next time you attend a school function and there is a tempting, harmless-looking little donation box for the upcoming Winter Wonderland Dance, just remember that whatever you put in that box is going towards the emotional scarring of your already-fragile adolescent child.  And you'll probably get stuck with the therapy bills, or at the very least, the tears at the end of the night.

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