An open letter to Zooey Deschanel

Good morning!  

First of all, if any guys are reading this, let me stop you right here, because this post is going to bore you senseless.  Come back next week, when we’ll talk about boobs or something.

…are they gone?  Is it just us girls?  Okay, good.  I thought I’d reached the bottom of the barrel of my ability to write solely for a female audience after doing it nonstop for more than a year, but then something happened that made me put my pink nail polish back on and start typing.  The lovely and talented Zooey Deschanel posted her nine millionth self-portrait on my Facebook newsfeed this week and I damn near lost my mind.  So buckle up, sisters… I’m about to go on a little bit of a rant.

zooey zooey zooey

Dear Zooey:

Hi.  Hey.  Can we talk for a second?  Great.  First of all, let me tell you… I’ve been a fan of yours for years.  Oh, this isn’t heading in an “OMG you’re selling out, why are you going mainstream on us?” kind of direction… I’m actually really happy for your success. That’s why I’m writing you this little note: because I’m somehow invested in you, and I feel like people who care should tell each other when they’ve got something in their teeth.

Here’s what.  I’ve loved you since I first laid eyes on you in Almost Famous — one of my all-time favorite movies.  Even though you were only in it for like half a minute, I thought you were great.  Elf?  Love.  Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy?  Brilliant.  500 Days of Summer made me have an existential crisis and also made me want to be your best friend.  When New Girl first came on, I was like, “yeah, okay, the use of the word ‘adorkable’ makes me twitch a little, but I know what you’re getting at, and it fits half of my friends and me to a tee, so I’ll let it slide…” and then the reviews came out and I have to admit they weren’t entirely inaccurate, but I’ve been sticking with you, girl.  I’m right there every week, seeing the show get a little bit funnier and hoping to heaven your character will stop relying so much on “oopsie daisy” mental lapses and drawn-out syllables to make me laugh.  You’ve GOT this, Z.  You’ve GOT this.

But enough about that.  We know you’ve got chops, and at some point you’ll hit your stride and be the Lucille Ball of our generation or something.  What I want to talk to you about has nothing to do with your show.  It has to do with your damn facebook feed.

I jumped for joy when I saw the emergence of  Seriously… there’s some good stuff up in there.  I geeked out over it the day it launched, immediately subscribed to it and to you, and thought, “I would write for this site in a heartbeat if they’d have me.  In fact, I’m GOING to.  One day, I’m writing a pitch note to end all pitch notes, and Zooey and all her fun brunette friends running that thing will be all, ‘Hell yeah!  Send us your stuff!  Let’s do this!’ and we’ll all skip off into the sunset together in matching ballet flats.”

But then something happened.  You… I don’t know… woke up one day and said something like, “You know what?  I’m going to start plastering my face all over everything, all the time.  Sometimes I’ll pretend it’s because I just got new bangs and want to thank my hairdresser.  And sometimes I’ll pretend I’m excited about the awards ceremony I just got all dressed up for, and I’ll beg you to say something about how pretty my hair is in the comments section so I can feed off it for days. Other times, I’ll just say HELLO in the caption and make a kissyface or give a dead-eyed stare like a supermodel selling you a handbag.  In fact, I think I’ll do that a lot.  Sometimes, I’ll include other people in my photos, and sometimes I’ll show you my manicure, but mostly it’s just going to be my face.  My adorable, adorkable face.  On your computer screen, all the time.  Me me me me me mememememememememememememeeeeeee.


Now let me back up for a second.  I’m not complaining because I’m jealous.  Well actually, I am jealous, because you’re preternaturally gorgeous and gifted, and I’ll be the first to admit I have a straight-up girl crush on you.  But mainly, I like you because you’ve always done things a little differently and seemed to be a smart cookie and an original underneath all that beauty.  I dig that.  You love Judy Blume — automatic gold star.  You sing with only one half of your face — it’s endearing.  Some of your music kind of grates on my nerves — but I get where you’re going with it.  I like your style.  You look up to Ella Fitzgerald and play Scrabble and married the guy from Death Cab, for godsakes.  We’ve got something here.  I LIKE YOU.  

That’s exactly why I beg of you: stop letting yourself come off like a vapid narcissist.  Stop stop stop stop stop.  There’s so much more to you than great hair and pretty eyes and constant access to Instagram and a social media channel.  There has to be.  Not only do you have women in your own age group LOVING the fact that you’ve always led with your character instead of any given body part, but you also have little girls looking up to you and thinking you’re awesome too.  A lot of them are emulating every move you make.  Which is fine, as long as you’re not doing what nearly every other star before you has done and made it all about The Face or The Ass or The Whatever.  This time, can we pull another Natalie Portman, maybe, and make it about The Brain?  Because I know you’ve got one in there.  I’ve seen it before.  We all have.  So please let it have access to your Facebook page more often and quit selling it short with your Caboodles and your iPhone.

Yeah, sure, fine, we’re all a little vain.  Got it.  I’m no exception.  I’m not saying you’re a horrible person for being aware of your own cuteness, and I realize you work in an industry that’s merciless about this stuff.  It’s just that if you’re going to hold court in front of the whole wide world, you don’t have to walk around quoting Nietzsche all the time or curing diseases, but please don’t make it all about your lipstick either.  We’ve got your back here, and we’re interested in you as a person, not just as a brand.  You play two instruments and sing; we want to know what music you like and why.  You choose quirky roles and seem like an intelligent person; we want to know what you’re reading.  Aside from what I’m ranting about here, you actually seem nice.  Personally, I want to see you take all that power and all those eyeballs on you right now and do something awesome with your “share” button, like challenge your nearly 800,000 facebook fans to take some cans of food to a homeless shelter today or something.  Anything.

ANYTHING but another picture of your bangs.




3 thoughts on “An open letter to Zooey Deschanel

  1. Jessie says:

    Amen! And yes, I too, have a girl crush and L-O-V-E Zooey–she is the cute, zany, quirky girl I love to watch. As a matter of fact I was just watching “500 days of Summer” on E! this morning (which I asked myself, ‘why am I watching this with 703 commercial breaks when I could just be watching my DVD’?)…but I still watched it on E! instead.

    Anyway, I get your post, and for that reason I don’t subscribe to { many } celeb feeds or twitter because of the narcissism aspect and the ‘hey! look at my cute pouty lips–by Bobbi Brown in Nude—do you like my huge Chanel sunglasses?—gettin’ my Starbucks on while holding my oversized Hermès bag (ok I plugged your product, do I get it for free now?)’. That was a terrible run-on, fragmented sentence with bad punctuation, I know….what’s my point? Oh, I loved your post and I’ll continue to love Zooey and her bangs, until the day she tweets a picture of herself starving in a bikini claiming, “I eat, I swear!” Until that day, Zooey and I shall remain friends.

    I am pretty sure you already subscribe to Mindy Kaling? If not, you should…love her and she has great posts!

    Bang on, Amy!

    • YES!!! Love me some Mindy K, and I’ll be reading her book soon, but out of big-sister-style respect for Tina Fey, I’ve vowed to devour Bossypants first. I used to be addicted… ADDICTED… to Us, Life&Style, InTouch, all of it… until I finally reached my saturation point on all the nonsense and decided to stop cold turkey. I even had a little Kardashian obsession in ’09 but luckily kicked it to the curb pretty quickly. Oh, the embarrassment.

      Truth time: I will admit that InStyle is still kind of a semi-guilty pleasure sometimes… and it’s possible that E! makes its way into my Hulu queue once in a blue moon. Marginally guilty! 😉

      ps: I love run-on sentences. LOVE them and will never give them up. Stand strong!

      • Jessie says:

        Oh! I know all about the addiction to the tabloids, E! and the Kardashians, who I’m convinced are stock holders in tabloid publications, TMZ and own several paparazzi as personal assistants to “quietly” and conveniently leak their secrets. I decided to give those up and read actual books. I’ve read Bossypants and just finished Mindy’s book. They are both great, but Tina Fey holds a special place in my heart. I literally had some LOL moments reading her book, where people were staring at me — literally (<< why do I feel the need to say word that in a British accent?) and I can't be sure, but I might've even peed a little at one point — yes, it is THAT funny. Want to join my chic lit book club? It's just me and a bottle of wine…sometimes I even read. Good times 😉

        Kathy Griffin and Chelsea Handler's books are good reads, too in a vulgar way, if you like that sort of thing, which for the record, I do.

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