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A Brand New Day: An encouraging new role model for women in Hollywood

By October 15, 2009 9 Comments
Felicia Day

Felicia Day

Felicia Day is not your typical female star—and that’s what we love about her.

Day became known to many television viewers during her stint on the final season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, starred in “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog,” and is the writer, producer, and director of the popular web series The Guild, a show that parodies the culture of online role-playing games.

As noted in a post a few weeks ago, the majority of starring roles in television seem to go to curvy blondes. Redheads are usually cast as wacky sidekicks, like Willow in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or as fiery-tempered fighters, like the argumentative Dr. Brennan in Bones. In defiance of this limiting stereotype, Day’s character, “Codex”, is a shy yet intelligent gamer who seems like the girl next door.

When asked by Wired magazine about the inspiration for The Guild, Day said:

Most people don’t make a living acting. But being the kind of girl who is stereotyped as the secretary — or I’ve played a crazy cat lady five times, which is fine because I do that very well — but at a certain point you’re like, ‘I am more than this.’ That’s why I wrote Codex [her character in The Guild]. I sat down and was like, ‘What role would I have the most fun playing and would never be offered to me?’ I think Codex, in a mainstream world, would have a perfect nose and great highlights, but that’s not reality. And I wanted to, somehow, infuse reality into what I was doing.

Rather than give in to the pressure to change to fit the Hollywood ideal, Day seems more interested in changing the way Hollywood works. The Guild has no studio oversight, no million-dollar budget, and no A-list cast. Yet their promotional video for the third season of the show has over 4 million views on YouTube, and was the number one video download on iTunes.

The viral video, entitled “Do You Want to Date My Avatar”, pokes fun at the disconnect between oversexualized gaming avatars and the real appearance and lives of the gamers themselves:

Felicia Day is proof that there is more than one way to succeed as a woman in entertainment, and that women don’t need to accept negative stereotypes in order to do so.

Watch Felicia Day in The Guild at www.watchtheguild.com.

–Elizabeth