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Lifestyle, Fashion & Travel Online Magazine by Laura
Pisa, Province of Pisa, Italy

Self-Help: Why we need to stop labelling people 'quirky'

Is quirky a cute phrase to describe ukulele playing girls who like kittens or is it a way to dismiss creative progressive women? Here are seven reasons why we need to stop using this ambitious term, by Rosa Fairfield.

Photographs by Linda Smith


It's used to describe very normal behaviour and often in women

Here are some of the things I've heard in the past:

You're dress sense is so quirky
Is it? Is it really? I'm pretty sure I've seen a million and one other girls on Instagram wearing colourful clothes. If you walk around London for a while, especially any place with vintage shops you'll be sure to bump into a whole lot of people who dress in a similar way. In fact many creative people often express themselves through their clothing choices.

I really like *insert name here* she's so quirky because she sings to herself
I've known a lot of people do this. My mother sometimes walks around the house singing. It's not really that bizarre. What might be a little more on a strange side is if someone walked into a police station and started singing a song about how they had their bag stolen.

I'm super quirky because I'm really into geeky stuff
... I mean okay, but so are lots of other people into geeky stuff. That just means a person is into geeky stuff, it doesn't nessecially make them strange.

She's quirky she has a goofy quality
Again, it's not strange for people to have a goofy side. Being in the acting industry, I've found it the norm for people to have a goofy side.

Is quirky another word for creative?
Whenever its used it seems to be in regards to someone who possesses more creative attributes. Maybe we should just start saying this person is creative, instead of dismissing them with a 'cutesy' word.

It's used to dismiss

I just watched this quirky film
Okay... right.... but did you actually understand the message it contained? Was it a take on how mental illness is stigmatised in modern culture? Was the film about the repercussions of some having an affair whilst in a relationship? Was the film about how we need to reduce our carbon footprint?

If we're just describing something as quirky do we really see it's worth or even understand it?

It's an umbrella term

If I got paid for the amount of people that tell me I remind them of Luna Lovegood... but that's the thing.

Someone: You're like Luna Lovegood

Me: Why?

Someone: Because you're quirky

I'm sorry, but what does that even mean? If someone came up to be a told me a list of Luna's actual personality traits, such as empathy, citing conspirasory theories, blunt honesty... then that would make sense. The thing is though... not everyone that doesn't conform to societies ideal is the same but using the word 'quirky' makes it seem that way.

It's way too associated with dating

You type into the internet, 'Quirky' and the first page of Google is littered with articles about men wanting to date quirky women... or how being a quirky woman makes you more desirable. Like, okay, I didn't know people exist for the sole reason of finding a partner.

It's stereotyped and a terribly offensive archetype

Quirky girls are unpredictable and exciting

I've been decided as quirky more than once. I can absoluetly tell anyone that I would not fit into there definition of 'unpredictable' and 'exciting'. Like, I obsessively plan things... prefer to stick to what I know than trying new experiences. Apparently, according to this one article, if you aren't 'playful' and 'quirky' then apparently your just plan crazy. Don't even get me started on the word crazy.

There's quirky girls and then there's perfect girls

I'm sorry but what's a perfect girl? Is anyone really perfect? Since when are we using 'quirky' to describe everyone that doesn't meant a magnificent beauty standard that doesn't really exist.

- Also there gets to a point where it just becomes plain offensive.

I like you because you're quirky and don't care that your hair is a bird's nest

We use it to describe what we don't understand

That girl over there is sneezing in a funny way. I'd never sneeze like that, it's so quirky.

Why on earth would someone want to wear a pink polka-dot dress? That makes her so quirky.

If we see a behaviour that we don't understand, rather than accept someone just has a slightly different personality than us, because we all do, we seem to label them as quirky.

Is anyone really quirky?
That brings me to my last point. I've never met two people who are exactly the same so what is quirky anyway?