Okay, New Girl, it’s time to talk about the concept, “adorkable” and the unrealistic standards it’s setting for all the lady-dorks out there.
Now, I have never seen an episode of the New Girl, but even if you’re in my boat and haven’t seen it yet, I think it’s safe to say that most of us are familiar with the premise by now (mostly because it seems like this show has become an omnipresent force on TV, in magazines, etc.). Just in case you missed it, though, Zooey Deschanel plays a girl who seems to be too darn adorkable for her own good.
What is adorkable, you may well ask? Why, being a dork and being adorable at the same time, of course! At first, this seems like good news for all the lady-dorks out there. I was a little psyched. Finally, a little appreciation for all of us weirdos out there who are tired of being sidelined by the vanilla (sans embarrassing foibles) crowd!
Ahh, but let’s see what happens when one of us real world lady-dorks tries to pass off as adorkable. See, you might think you could be adorkable. But you might not be qualified. How do I know?
Cosmo told me so. In their January issue, they included a handy little graphic chart, for all us adorkable hopefuls out there. I’ve included it below. Go ahead, ladies, educate yourselves:
I’ll break down my score for you.
Adorkable-o’-clock: “She wears overalls on a regular basis.” –> I have never owned a pair of overalls in my whole little life.
Adorkable enough: “She busts out fake snaggletooth in the middle of a wedding.” –> Well, that seems oddly specific. But no, I’ve got to admit, that particular act had not occurred to me. I’ve also got to admit, now that it has, I’m still not going to do it.
Adorkable-ish: “She cries hysterically while watching Dirty Dancing.” –> I’ve never seen Dirty Dancing. On the rare occasion I do cry at movies, I totally try to hide it by sniffing up a tiny storm and wiping my sleeve all over my face while pretending to scratch an itch conveniently near my eyes. Wow, I’m not doing so hot.
Kind of a Dork: “She quotes Lord of the Rings.” –> So, um, the first monologue I ever did, the one that got me into my arts magnet middle school, was Gollum vs. Smeagol. I pieced it together out of the books in fourth grade—before the movies came out and it was even a tiny modicum of cool. (I did get into the school, though…)
Made of Dork: “She does the chicken dance in public.” –> Yeeeeeah. Oops. I hope the Macarena doesn’t also count in this category. I do that one every chance I get.
Big Ol’ Dorkus Malorkus: “She sings silly, made-up songs out loud to herself.” –> COSMO/NEW GIRL, GET OUT OF MY HEAD. THIS IS ALL I DO. Ask anyone who has spent too much time with me. Usually, they’re about various food products; often, the lyrics have everything to do with what happens to be in my line of sight at the time. I once left Shawn a three-minute voicemail, which was me singing an invented song about butter. But that was just awesome.
There you have it: according to Cosmo, I do absolutely nothing that is considered adorkable and absolutely everything that is considered dorky. In summary, I’m pretty sure I just got served.
This, to me, is the problem is with adorkable. I mean, we’re talking about some pretty narrow qualifications here—qualifications that in no way account for just how delightfully weird the vast majority of people truly are. Come on, ladies, I know I’m not the only one who has referenced Tolkien, does embarrassing dances, and sings silly little songs. This is simply not a realistic standard.
Joke’s on you, though, Cosmo and New Girl. Guess why? Us weird-o ladies find love all the time. And if we’re not adorkable, but still behave in totally weird ways, the only explanation for us finding love must be that we’re defined by some new word that no one has thought of yet… a cross between two other words that must somehow be endearing…
Henceforth, I offer myself and all others of my kind the more realistic moniker: “chalarming.” Now, with our new catchy charming and alarming style, we too can be candidates for the world’s adoration! We don’t need Zooey Deschanel and her adorkable ways. Adorkable is out, chalarming is in! You’re welcome, fellow chalarming ladies. Go forth, and charm and alarm your way into the hearts of millions.
But before you do, use this little graph as a reference to make sure you’re actually chalarming and not just plain alarming, because no one wants that. (That’s right, Cosmo, I can make graphics, too.)