As an announced Strange Girl in senior high school myself, I look upon the Weird Lady trope with satisfaction and also love. Unlike various other representations of women in media, Odd Girls are a lot more nuanced and also approved in film and also literature– but it hasn’t constantly been this way.
To comprehend the Strange Girl even more, I wanted to ‘The Take’ on YouTube who split Weird Girl characters into 5 distinct subsections: The Goth, The Smartass, The Basketcase, The Space Cadet, as well as the Awkward Misfit. The Goth is most recognisable in Lydia Deetz from Beetlejuice. If there would be any area to go to discover the essential Weird Woman, it would be the filmography of Tim Burton. Lydia has an obsession with fatality and also discovers comfort in the ghosts that haunt her brand-new residence. As well as this, she– like the majority of Odd Women that suit the Goth subcategory– feels misinterpreted by her family and also peers since she is open to what a lot of “regular” individuals ignore. I feel that the spirits as well as ghosts in Beetlejuice represent this perfectly as only Lydia can see these ghosts that terrorise her family for attacking their home. Her non-traditional relationship with the ghosts is what leads them to quit tormenting her family and allow them to stay living in their home. Various other characters that match the Goth subsection are Nancy from the Craft, who has the very same flare for the supernatural as Lydia as well as is avoided for it, as well as Wednesday Addams from the Addams Household, based upon the comic books of the exact same name. Wednesday, however, actually does not also fit into this subcategory correctly as she originates from a household that allows her to discover her weirdness without judgement. Addams Family members Worths can be seen as the reverse of the Weird Girl trope. The entire household are weird and embrace it, Debbie Jellinsky– the conventionally eye-catching as well as womanly female who weds Uncle Fester in a story to kill him– is the main villain of the film as well as is untrusted by the entire family from the start due to her perceived conformity. The audience of this film is indicated to side with the Weird Girl as well as dislike the “typical”.
The Smartass Weird Girl uses sarcasm as a defence versus the negative thoughts that’s intended towards her. She knows that generally she is smarter than the normies in her college, as offered by Daria Morgendorffer from Beavis as well as Butt-Head. The Smartass Weird Girl typically describes herself as what she isn’t as opposed to what she is. In the Period 1 episode, “Suffering Chick”, when a prominent schoolmate passes away, the “normal” individuals in Daria’s course turn to her for assistance which unintentionally popularises her and strips her of her Weird Girl title for a day. This is because she is one with misery, enabling herself to get in touch with even more emotional subjects that the shallower people around her battle to. Daria’s personality demonstrates exactly how, like the Goth, the Smartass Weird Lady is open to what many “typical” individuals neglect or are unable to sympathise with. Daria qualifies herself as “just not like them” which rings true for all Unusual Ladies.
The Space Cadet Weird Girl, as ‘The Take’ explains, appears to exist in her very own globe with little regard wherefore individuals believe. Typically, she provides a great deal of the funny in the tale because of her wackiness– think Phoebe Buffay’s ‘Smelly Feline’ song in Buddies. Once again, Tim Burton applies the Space Cadet Weird Girl nicely in Frankenweenie. A female character attributed as simply “Weird Lady” thinks that her family pet feline can anticipate the future with his poo. In spite of the other children around her reasoning that her premonitions are ludicrous as well as strange, but she is completely unbothered by this. Similarly, in Harry Potter, Luna Lovegood is described as being calm as well as eccentric as well as having eccentric beliefs. Until now, the subcategories of the Unusual Lady trope are generally favorable as well as accepting; from the Goth woman searching for solace in things that “normal” people neglect, to the Smartass understanding her worth as well as having her quick wit and knowledge, to the Space Cadet being an airy unproblematic queen. Nonetheless, the last two subcategories have some dodgy assets that are rooted in the debatable background of the Odd Girl trope in literary works and film.
The Awkward Misfit Weird Girl seems innocent and also relatable to any individual who has an uncomfortable stage in school, yet the trope is cluttered with suspicious insults as well as practices. The Awkward Misfit is the woman that doesn’t intend to be a Strange Lady. She is typically qualified by her poor fashion feeling, unique face functions, and also lack of close friends. In Welcome to the Doll House Awkward Misfit Dawn Wiener is picked on by the individuals at her institution for her “ugliness” and continuously had the slur “lezzer” or “lesbo” used versus her. What I discover problematic concerning this trope is the parallel between the manner in which the Awkward Misfit gowns or acts– which is denied by the preferred people around her for being socially unacceptable or strange– and also the kind of language made use of when insulting her. Being called a lesbian as an insult as a result of the means somewhat awkward or unique method which Dawn behaves seems really troublesome to me.
Though this sort of language is really dated as well as modern-day media has moved away from utilizing it, numerous Weird Girl personalities’ sexuality is consulted with hostility with assumptions that she’s a “slut” or a lesbian. Surprisingly, this shows up in Sex Education. For a seemingly modern series, the manner in which Maeve’s personality was composed mirrors the problematics of the Awkward Misfit Weird Woman. Maeve doesn’t actually fit into the Awkward Misfit subcategory– she ‘d definitely more of a Smartass– but a great deal of hostility is directed in the direction of her sexuality, whether she’s demonised for being sexually promiscuous, or people use the lesbian insult versus. In the initial season she exposes this hostility from individuals around her as well as we find out that a great deal of it originated from incorrect rumours. The Unusual Woman mirrors the stress and anxieties of her time, usually bordering women autonomy and also sexuality. Although culture has actually enormously proceeded, these topics are still controversial to now which could describe why there are still women personalities that reveal their sexuality in non-traditional ways that are still perceived as “odd” in literature and film.
Ultimately, the last subcategory– and arguably the most problematic– is the Basketcase Weird Woman. These are the more remarkable and also attention-seeking of the Strange Women, as well as see, to cherish in their weirdness one of the most. Unlike the Space Cadet, she cares a great deal concerning what others assume yet does so to see to it that people acknowledge her weirdness. Allison Reynolds demonstrates this in The Morning meal Club, and so does Marla Singer in Battle Club. Their quirkiness comes across as really performative as if they act in a certain method to seek focus however keep people at a distance at the same time. ‘The Take’s’ video on the Strange Lady trope focuses on exactly how Allison’s childhood could be to “blame” for this; in the Breakfast Club, she specifies that her family members ignore her suggesting that Allison offsets her lack of interest from the people she enjoys.
Where the Basket Case Weird Woman fails is the manner in which she is perceived in literature and also film as requiring to be “normalised” in order to have a satisfied end. This is usually attained via a male romantic lead who she ends up altering for. Again, this has solid web links to the beginnings of the Weird Girl trope. The standard Unusual Lady was frequently distinguishable by her rejection of conventions such as marital relationship, her quest of education and learning of expertise, or for being a “tom-boy”. Weird Women being “subjugated” by guys and also finding out to submit to the suggestion of marriage as well as children had a very solid social message that females need to not deviate from the status which perhaps what every Weird Woman needed was a wonderful guy to put her back on the appropriate course. With this view in mind, numerous women personalities that are commonly approved now– as an example, Anne from Anne of Eco-friendly Gables, Elizabeth from Pride and also Bias, or Jo from Little Female would certainly have been viewed as the Strange Girls of their time.
As someone who commemorates her quirkiness, I have actually always quite delighted in women personalities that have an unusual or unusual side to them. However, after exploring a little much deeper and excavating up the problematics in the Strange Girl’s origins, it’s sad to see a trope that I enjoyed has actually expanded from patriarchal values and assumptions, as well as still holds a great deal of internalised misogyny.
Video referenced: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDWzxeo6984&t=343s