Arts and CultureSex and Dating

Date it Like Daria: An Analysis

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If you’re a living, breathing twentysomething-year old woman with half a brain, chances are you also watched and were obsessed with Daria on MTV back in the day (sidenote: you know that shit’s out on DVD, right?!?).  Though on the surface, the characters were based on fairly broad stereotypes in the high school world, the whole reason Daria was so resonant to those who enjoyed it was because there was actual character development and depth to each of those Lawndale High Schoolers.

And this got me thinkin’, guys.  It got me thinkin’ reeeeeal nice-like in relation to sex and dating.  Are we doomed to forever repeat the patterns established when we first started to date in high school?  What do all of our individual snowflake-like dating idiosyncrasies all MEAN?!?  Vis-a-vis my mini-analysis of each of the following Lawndale High Schoolers, we’ll figure this crazy world out together, ok?  This is where you DECLARE, in your loudest outside voice, no matter where you are (even in ye olde library): “OK, ANNA G.!  LIKE DELORES VAN CARTIER IN SISTER ACT RE-APPROPRIATING A MOTOWN SONG FOR A CATHOLIC PRAYER, I WILL FOLLOW YOU WHEREVER YOU MAY GO!”:

We can all find a little piece of ourselves in Quinn, can’t we?  Though it’s great to think yourself worthy of lots of attention, there is a degree to which that sort of line of thinking becomes, well, totally self-absorbed and unreasonable.  I think by the end of the series, Quinn started to realize that.  You know what’s really great to keep in mind?  Even if you don’t give a shit about people who may be really into you, they’re still human beings.  Also, not EVERYONE is going to love you, or even like you.  Even if it might actually seem that way now, there’s only so long you can coast by on that in life.  All I have to say is, I can’t wait until the MILF meme is dead so we can go back to (if we ever did in the first place?) looking at older women as human beings with more than one quality.

Brittany is the type who tend to marry super, super young.  Hopefully once you’ve realized you married a Kevin and picked up a book or two (no, The Secret doesn’t count), you can reinvent yourself and drive your own life, rather than living in the shadow of a dimwitted has-been.  It’s never too late to live your life the way you want to, which may or may not include marriage at all.  The other path Brittany could’ve possibly taken is that of stripper– in which case, the same general rules apply: one should only do things for the right reasons, and not to please anyone else or because of lack of any other ideas.

Stacy never really had much of a love life portrayed on the show, but given her “follower” mentality, I can see her as the accommodating, Tammy Wynette-like girlfriend to a gigantic Tucker Max-type tool.  Hopefully, like Sandy’s gaining weight translating into a loss of power in the last season, all of the Stacys of the world will finally grow some balls.

Oh, Daria.  Though she had little to no patience for just about anyone, she did have a soft spot for the semi-forbidden.  Namely, Trent, Jane’s spacey burnout brother, and Tom, Jane’s ex-boyfriend (!).  What we can learn from this is: (1) it’s ok to crush on a ridiculous hipstery losery guy every once in a blue moon.  It might even be only human (even Daria wasn’t immune, for fuck’s sake!), but it’s not a great idea to actually date them.  Rather, keep them as a friend.  it’ll work out much better in the long run.  (2) Once you’ve gotten over being unable to express your true feelings for someone, and that someone happens to be your best friend’s ex boyfriend, you should tread EXTRA carefully.  If it’s FOR REAL that you like them, your friend will get over it eventually, though it won’t be an easy road.  In conclusion, even smart girls make mistakes and aren’t perfect.  Furthermore, Daria’s attraction to certain “forbidden” people transcends and flies in the face of any sort of ridiculous slut/virgin dichotomy that dating columnists (and just about everyone who thinks they know a thing or two about a thing or two looooove to bring up as some sort of fact of nature).  I think discerning women with flaws like Daria will be just fine, y’all.

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Anna G - Caliburg Contributor

Anna G - Caliburg Contributor

Anna G. is a Southern California native living in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn since 2005. Anna is constantly trying to unite her love of CA sunshine and the excitement of the New York urban jungle, all the while trying to keep her unwieldy credit card debt under control, and look fabulous at brunch, no matter how un-showered and hungover.