Can We Please Have More Shows About Quirky White Girls?

It all started with Sex and the City. Watching those women find themselves throughout their 203,329,475 boyfriends, million dollar apartments and extremely lucrative but incredibly undemanding jobs, I felt like I finally saw myself. And it was refreshing, you know, because if there’s one demographic that’s missing in entertainment — so much so it’s beginning to feel intentional — it’s the quirky, city-dwelling white girl. She’s awkward, she’s hyper self-aware, she’s not too good with men but very open about her sex life (she makes lots of vagina puns — the definition of liberated!), she’s all of us. And while SatC gave me my first real taste of that sweet, sweet representation — I didn’t feel it was quite “me.” I mean, I’m a 23-year-old, and let’s be honest — those bitches were one foot in the grave. Who wants to hear about white women figuring themselves out in their thirties when you could watch them do it in their undeniably sexier early-to-mid twenties?

And as though the heavens themselves parted and sent me down my own hopes and dreams on a little cumulus cloud, I got everything I was looking for this past year. Someone, somewhere, had heard the stifled-but-powerful cry of young, attractive, acceptably quirky white women everywhere and sent us what I refer to as The Golden Trifecta. Whitney, 2 Broke Girls, and New Girl — like some three-ring circus of hilarity and refreshing perspective — finally gave me what I had for so long thought would never be seen on network television. On the surface, they may look similar, but that couldn’t be any further from the truth. Their beautiful skin, ranging from ivory to ecru, is a veritable crash-course in diversity. Their financial backgrounds, ranging from lower-upper-middle class to upper-upper-middle class, finally gave us that slice of life that we never get to hear about. How often have we asked ourselves, “How do reasonably attractive white girls handle themselves when spit out from their 40,000-a-year liberal arts college and can no longer take out dad’s Volvo on request?” Well, we’ll never have to ask again.

But watching the shows, as incredible and witty as they were, never quite left me fulfilled. Don’t get me wrong, I could never tire of banter whose every punchline is some variation of the word “vagina,” or makes an “aw, shucks” eye-roll play on how delightfully stupid the female protagonist is, but it just wasn’t enough. Sure, Zooey Deschanel’s Acceptable Levels of Asperger’s™ absolutely kills, and Kat Dennings has never met a sex pun that she couldn’t deliver with zest, but I wanted more. More, more, more. I thought, “Watching 20-something white girls make it in the big city while they discover themselves and date lots of emotionally stunted losers, only to later complain about it over some form of alcohol is fun — but it’s not real enough. Network TV can only provide you with so much grit, and I want the self-deprecation, the nudity, and the awkwardness to be turned up to 11, if you will.” And things have come full circle, right back to the home base of white girl liberation that started it all, HBO.

When I first watched the trailer for their new show Girls, I thought it was too good to be true. I had to turn it off, take a few deep breaths, and check the sources to make sure it wasn’t some elaborate joke being played on me personally. It’s just, how could something so perfectly cover all the bases and be on a channel that lets you see boobs? It’s just… good things like that don’t happen to average people like me, you know!? But there it was: everything I have ever dreamed of. The cast, white upon white upon white upon white, like that part in Willy Wonka where the kid is inside the TV. Beautiful. The setting? New York City, perhaps the most underrepresented area in the continental US in entertainment, especially when it comes to young white people discovering themselves. The carousel of disappointing lovers? Check and double-check! The lame sex jokes? In abundance!! The family backgrounds? Firmly middle-class. And to top it all off, the seemingly intelligent girls who regroup to do nothing but discuss their lame love lives, self-deprecate, wonder why things are going so wrong for them, or try to “figure themselves out” in the Big City™? CHECK AND MATE.

I just… it’s just… we did it, middle-class, college-educated, liberal, awkward, twenty-something, city dwelling white girls. We’ve finally arrived. And one day, I’ll be so proud to tell my daughter that, yes, when mommy was young, she got to watch as the media finally realized that she was a human being, too, with something interesting to say. God bless America. TC mark

image – Girls

Chelsea Fagan

Chelsea Fagan founded the blog The Financial Diet. She is on Twitter.


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  • Anonymous


  • Guest

    … she is being sarcastic, right? 

    • Tsdyke

      errr yes?

    • MM


    • natters09

      it’s tagged as satire…

    •!/zachyadam Flavors

      No. She is definitely being entirely truthful.


    Were the women on SATC supposed to be “quirky?” Also, not to be a copy editing buzzkill, but…it’s ‘2 Broke Girls’–with a numeral, not a spelled out “two”–and simply ‘New Girl,’ no definite article preceding. Don’t let that $40,000 liberal arts education go to waste!

    • Anonymous

      You’re a copy editing buzzkill.

    • Guestropod


  • Ruthied

    At some point, we really are going to have to have the same conversation we had about Happy Meals and marketing crap food to kids with toys and clowns. All fun and games until the kids got diabetes. Is it really ethical to market neurotic, self-obsessed TV shows with a false sense of relatedness, cutesy bangs and leggings? It’s all fun and games until there is a universal case of Generalized Anxiety Disorder and people think self-loathing is a rite of passage.

  • Guest

    Yayyyy white people!!!!! -___-

  • Emallthetime

    are we supposed to pretend that thought catalog is any different? 

  • Anonymous

    I love this so hard it hurts. Want to hang out and talk about it over cocktails?

  • Courtney

    lol, thought catalog is the epitome of quirky city-dwelling white women in their early to mid-twenties, though.

    • Colum

      And their fabulous fags!

  • Ljdonofrio

    Zooey Deschanel is actually 32 (not in her 20s). Does this put her “one foot in the grave”?

    • Guest


    • Hbo

      & Whitney looks at least 40, I’ve only ever seen snippets before I get disgusted and turn her off.

  • Ray Downs

    Right on, white girl. Preach it!

  • Jesus

    How come nobody do a show about Asian women living such lifestyle so I can be casted.  Jesus

    • beatrice

      Seconded. And I thought that thought catalog had made more progress than the hollywood media in consideration of a globalized outlook. But, alas, the denotation “white” has to be made. The term ‘quirky girls’ just can’t stand alone

  • Sallaha93

    So amused people need to see the ‘satire’ tag to know is this is sarcastic. Watching the New Girl made me want to burn out my eyeballs she is so insanely stupid-yet-portrayed-as-quirky. Because obviously the only way for a woman to be weird is to be stupid and cute a la Jessica Simpson+Chicken of the sea. 

    • beatrice

      The insane thing is that Zooey Deschanel is actually like that in real life..and oh gawd don’t even get me on the topic of the atrocity of hellogiggles

  • Nishant


  • Safy-Hallan Farah

    This was great!

  • Jason Ham


  • Rick

    I came close to throwing up before I saw the satire tag. Well played.

    • Jordan

      Glad you came around.  Although it’s not encouraging that it took until the tag.

  • Guest

    this article was a pussy-poppin good time

    • Guestropod


  • Nekobriefcase

    it’s uncomfortable how spot-on this is

  • byrnsy

    The new formula… Take and Katy Perry look-alike and have gay guys write things they wouldn’t say, and pass it as for real. 

  • Sophia

    “Zooey Deschanel’s Acceptable Levels of Asperger’s™” – YES

    • beatrice

      Okay, is it really acceptable?

  • justanotherreader

    i, for one, found this absolutely hilarious

  • StrangeDay

    Thank you.

  • Jordan


  • Josh Gondelman

    Chelsea, you nailed it.

  • lauryn hill

    this is “spot on” because it’s been written about 1400 times already

    • Pras

       And yet you read it for the 1,401st and still felt compelled to comment. Looks like you care after all!

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