Manic Pixie Dream Girl

Does my spewing of motivational quotes offend you?

Manic Pixie Dream Girl, a trope defined by Nathan Rabin as, “…bubbly, shallow cinematic creature that exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures.”

For a further understanding I highly recommend “Ruby Sparks” (It not on Netflix anymore, sorry) as it not only was the first film that came to my mind as I researched this trope but further, Robin Schnider stated, “[“Ruby Sparks”] act as a cautionary tale against the Manic Pixie Dream Girl.”

This trope is one that I find myself easily relating to, almost too closely to by Rabin’s definition, and referring back to time and time again when I find myself in a trap of my own construction where I feel guilty or like I am boring others when I care for myself, which really shouldn’t be so. It is of the utmost importance to take of yourself and this is something that I really do believe but have had difficulty putting into practice. I felt almost evil, as theatrical as that sounds, when I didn’t help people – friends and strangers alike. It literally consumed my thoughts and kept me up at night worrying about their well being without what I could offer (things like a spare pencil or lunch money, anything!).

Luckily, there has been a lot of personal growth for me in the past year and much more to come, hopefully. It still is hard for me to abandon people in their time of need but I am sure over time it will get easier, and I shall become progressively more heartless (serious topics are difficult for me, so I use humour to cope). When I found myself in the darker days, as dark as days can get for the human embodiment of a unicorn anyhow, I would turn to slam poetry and spoken word as a sort of release. I have been told to consume the things you want to be good at, for me that was poetry. Poetry has always been something I had an interest in so delving into spoken word whole heatedly felt natural. There have been many poets and poem that have left me in awe but Olivia Gatwood’s “Manic Pixie Dream Girl” resonated most with me. Due to the fact that I am the love interest of -10% of the population’s story I didn’t write from the perspective of the traditional definition of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl; that being said, I found Gatwood’s words held much meaning and spoke to my soul (I am so sorry I couldn’t think of any other word to use). Without further adieu here is Manic Pixie Dream Girl, After Olivia Gatwood.

Manic Pixie Dream Girl, After Olivia Gatwood


Manic Pixie Dream Girl says, “Are you sure you don’t need help?”

Manic Pixie Dream Girl says, “Let me help you out all I can!”

Watch me grab your hand and carry you along.


Switch to your perspective as you watch me smile as I carry you along.

Hear that?

That the sound of your burdens shifting onto my shoulders.


I’m going to sign you up for a much needed dance class

on your one day off

without your permission

and you’re going to love it.

And you thought you hated dancing.

Do you see me? Encouraging you to try new things?

Manic Pixie Dream Girl wants you to do something you’ve never done before.

Things like starting a journal

or laugh.

You want to know my dreams? They have no importance anyway.

Probably something like meeting a fairy

or taking care of my mental health.


But this isn’t about me this is about you and your tedious job,

your black jeans;

you black Honda,

your black heart.

Manic Pixie Dream Girl says, “Let me save you!”

Says, “Don’t worry you can be the lead role.

This is your journey

about the way I teach you to live.

Everything anyone will ever know about me

they will learn when it’s projected onto you.

I’ll lose all undesirable traits when you parade them as good.”


Manic Pixie Dream Girl talks too loudly,

says “I love you” too soon

and hides her eyes from the commercials.

That makes me a funny woman, right?

The sort that people like to laugh at?

It’s easy to support you when I act like this,

so disagreeable

such a manic dream,

dream girl:

Your utterly shattered play thing!

Manic Pixie Dream Girl says let’s play make believe with my mind.

I’ll be the vintage LP

rattling in your empty jewelry box.

Good girl, not bad at all, a nod and a curtsy.

Let me leave behind my dreams,

mind fried from all those kind lies.

Work done when you need it;

call me when you’re bored.

Let me build myself smaller than you.


Let me apologize when I get caught putting myself before you.

Let me always live for this,

let me work for this.

The convenient thing about using a magical woman is that

they can be disposed of as quickly as they are


When I begin to become my own person for the first time

the movie is over,

Manic Pixie Dream Girl doesn’t go on,

there is nothing left for me once you are gone.

Manic Pixie Dream Girl is too Dream Girl,

and you just woke up.

I allowed my lips to be coerced by to you to remain tightly shut for so long

that when they finally parted the audience lost interest.

All my flaws were brought to light;

and in that instance I looked just like

everyone else.


(I really did not do this poem justice, I shall continue improve. Pinky promise)



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3 thoughts on “Manic Pixie Dream Girl

  1. Dearest Ibukun,

    When I read this, my first thought was: Yes! Spoken word poetry! My favourite!!!

    Thank you so much for writing this! I absolutely adore spoken word, so I just HAD to comment on your blog! (This is the most excited you will ever see me.)

    I have to admit, though, that your choice of title also caught my attention. The topic of movie tropes is really fascinating, and I like the fact that you chose to write about a character that is usually defined by the people around them. It reminded me of how forgotten most static characters are – in some ways, it is quite unfortunate.

    Then again, perhaps this is reflective of our own existence? We are the main character in our lives, and because of this we tend to forget the motivations, dreams, and depth of other people.

    But I digress.

    I really, really love your writing. I love the way it channels your voice, and I love how you explore such interesting topics with a lighthearted an humorous tone. I also really admire the fact that you were courageous enough to admit that you feel, at times, as if you relate to a character type that is not generally thought of as “deep”.

    Rather than a true “grow” I have a suggestion for you: I really would have loved to see (“hear” would be more appropriate for spoken word) your emulation of this poem! It would be an interesting way to express the ideas you presented in this blog.

    As a person, I tend to look up to people who, like you, are kind. I’ve always seen myself as a fairly selfish person, the type that will do the” right” thing and help not out of the goodness of my heart, but because it is the “correct” thing to do (thus making it the most advantageous course of action over the long run.) In some ways, I have always been envious of those who can be so selfless and not need to question their own motivations. I suppose the Manic Pixie Dream Girl represents the extreme of the characteristics that we value. By writing about this, Ibukun, you have made me reflect, and opened up conversation about our own flaws. Thank you for this! It was a very enlightening read, and it definitely captured my interest! You are an amazingly talented writer, and I can’t wait to see how your writing grows over the next two years!

    With love,

  2. Dear Taranum,

    Thank you for reading my blog and blessing the comment section with your words. <3 You're just the sweetest!

    I think you brought up a really fascinating idea that we are all the main characters of our story and everyone else is supporting. This is so interesting to me as although I am very aware of the fact that we all lead individuals lives and what not some days I think its all part of some larger plot, of sorts. Its kind of like the quote by Shakespeare "All the world’s a stage,/ And all the men and women merely players," I've always kind of thought that I would be in the background never really the lead. Alternatively, perhaps we are part of several different stories with plots and sub plots and so much more!

    I too digress.

    On the point that you would like to hear this poem, I don't know about ever performing this poem for an audience or anything like that, maybe when I feel it is really complete. I still think there is so much work to be done on it and on my self before either of us are really ready for the public eye. I could "perform" it for a lil' bean like you, however.

    You're kind words have truly warmed my itty bitty heart, so thank you, thank you, thank you! This was such a hard piece for me to post, as you noted (I wouldn't say I am courageous however), it is really humbling to have someone that you admire (who is supposedly on the same level) leave such kind words. I too am excited to see how you and your writing grow over however long we remain in touch.

    Voluntery Hugs,

    P.S. You are pretty kind too, with hints of well placed sarcasm.


    1. Dear Ibukun,

      Aww, think nothing of it – it is just one part of a sub-plot in your life journey. 😉

      P. S. – I think, rather than being “itty bitty”, your metaphorical heart is fairly large.

      With love (or with whatever semblance of affection I can muster up),


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