To many of my friends, I am known as “That Girl With The Purple Glasses Who Is Always Around And Making Snarky Comments About Everyone.” But to a small community of people on the internet, and an the even smaller community of people comprised of anyone I have ever dated, I am simply known as “AwkwardAbby.” For a significant period of time (namely, high school), I tried really hard to force myself to fit into the parameters of normalness. For the record, it did not work; people still thought I was pretty weird. Some probably still do. And right now, I’d like to take a moment to turn the other cheek to that group of girls from high school that occasionally made fun of me and kill them with kindness. To those girls I say, “thanks for making me who I am today, I didn’t know it then, but in the long run, you actually really helped me discover myself, and I am sure one day you will all make excellent trophy wives.”
And because I am not at all bitter, let’s return to the topic at hand: awkwardness, more specifically awkward women. For years and years women in Hollywood have been forcing themselves to look a certain way, and also to act and behave a certain way. But now, more and more of them are breaking out of those boundaries, especially women in comedy like the great Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph. So right now, I’d like to pay homage to some of my favorite comically awkward women.
“What I’ve noticed is that almost no one who was a big star in high school is also big star later in life. For us overlooked kids, it’s so wonderfully fair.”
Mindy Kaling is currently best known for her new show, The Mindy Project, as well as her role as Kelly Kapoor on TV’s The Office—she has also been a writer for both shows, and wrote the acclaimed book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns), which I highly recommend because it is HILARIOUS. In her book, Mindy addresses a lot social issues, such as race, weight, and dating. First off, I just want to say that I’m kind of obsessed with Mindy. The thing I really admire about her is her honesty. Awkward or not, Mindy is refreshingly unafraid to tell it like it is. She isn’t scared to address how it can sometimes suck to be single, or how addicted to dieting she is. But in light of these issues, she also highlights the importance being comfortable in your own skin, and of real friendships. Basically, Mindy is the next up and coming face of awkward acceptance.
“For some reason, people look at me and laugh. I don’t know why.”
So, my feelings about Zooey Deschanel are no secret. Everyone knows that I actively and openly dislike her (and all other archetypal Manic Pixie Dream Girls). She’s pretty much ruining my life. What, you ask? That’s ridiculous, AwkwardAbby! You both have bangs and glasses and weird voices! Shouldn’t she be your idol?! Um no. Zooey, just because you have super big pretty eyes and a solid collection of vintage dresses doesn’t mean you can get away with being irritatingly quirky! Your ukulele does not undo your annoying adorkableness. She basically just gets on my nerves, but probably only because I’m super jealous of her roaring success. Suffice it to say, I’m in the rare minority. She embraces her quirkitude and doesn’t hold back. She’s willing to break into song at any given moment and always finds a way to see the happy/cute side of things, even if those things are people judging her for being her awkward self.
“Do your thing and don’t care if they like it.”
Guys, I love Tina Fey. I once had a dream that I was pregnant. With Tina Fey’s baby. That’s how much I love her. Tina Fey is my personal hero and role model. She’s everything I want to be. Plus, she has pretty hair and cool glasses, and she always pulls off horizontally striped shirts, which is not easy! Also she’s super talented, super smart, and super funny. But most importantly, she is awkward, and she embraces it. When the world says, go out and party, Tina says, stay home and work on your night cheese. She eats unabashedly and jokes unabashedly and is pretty much the perfect human being in all ways, and I definitely have a very serious girl-crush on her, does anyone have her number?
Suffice it to say, being awkward can sometimes be a debilitating challenge, especially for girls. Awkwardness aside, being a girl is tough enough already. Being a person is tough enough already. But one of the ways to get through that toughness is to embrace yourself, even in your own awkwardness. Sometimes, it can be really hard to like yourself. Maybe your hair is a little too frizzy, or you’re in love with one of your professors, or you’re just a little bit awkward. Life is full of frizzy hair and pretty professors, and life is full of awkwardness too. Instead of trying to stifle it, why not just let it all out? You do you, and embrace the awkward that may come with it.
Who’s your favorite awkward-but-inspiring star?
Featured photo via Getty Images