It’s Not Me, It’s You

Publication Design / Video

The Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope describes the role of a quirky upbeat girl solely existing to help the depressed male protagonist to find meaning in life again. Coined in 2007 by Nathan Rabin, the term has seen a shift from being a valid criticism used to question the representation of women in film, to an anti-feminist term used to overgeneralize and objectify women. “It’s Not Me, It’s You” is a collection of print and time-based pieces, through interaction viewers are invited to explore how the Manic Pixie Dream Girl has been shaped by us, as well as how we have been shaped by it.

Process book available to view here

The main body of work. A zine detailing the ever evolving Manic Pixie Dream Girl, detailing major figures, influential movements, and socio-political context.

A zine creating satire of how the male protganaist treats the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, projecting fantasies onto her, I follow the same philosophy and project the same fantasies on everyday objects.

Despite 500 Days of Summer priding itself on deconstrucing the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, beliving to have given Summer (the Manic Pixie Dream Girl) an inner life despite using Tom’s (the male protaganist) view. Through this project, I reclaim the story for Summer, censoring the objectification she faces from male characters.

Over time words and terms meanings become warped. Starting with the original definition by Nathan Rabin, each participant gives their own definition of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl based on the previous definition. 

Based off two reddit threads from r/AskWomen and r/AskMen, I read the top 10 responses from each thread. Viewers are invited to choose who’s shared experiences they want to give time to.

A takeaway from the project. Through these coupons, the relationship of the MPDG and the male protganist is commodified to tounge and cheek cliche interactions seen through various movies featuring the tropes.