Zooey Deschanel annoys me. Obviously, I've never met her, but the (almost identical) roles she chooses and the characters she portrays are obnoxiously over-the-top. Like Sonya Saraiya notes in her blog post, I understand the business side of this - that Zooey is trying to create a brand for herself and is continuing to "work it" because it, well, works.
However, her character in "New Girl" is too much for me. Mary Elizabeth Williams says in her blog post that Zooey "plays an exaggerated version" of herself. She tries so hard to be super cute, super bubbly, super feminine, and most annoyingly, she acts like she's a pure and innocent little girl. Essentially, to me it is very obvious that she is trying way too hard. She's dying to be adored by everybody, but it comes off to me as fake.
I can just hear all of her inner thoughts: "Love me, love me!!! Please?!?! But look how cute I am!!!"
Another thing that annoys me: she brands herself as the quirky, hipster, cute girl, but then in interviews she says that she doesn't like being called "quirky." Make up your mind! Own it!
Anyway, I really don't think that Zooey's character(s) offer a good feminist role model. I don't think trying to act perfect and trying to please everybody is respectable and it probably won't get you far in life. I think being yourself and admitting and owning your flaws (and no, "quirkiness" shouldn't be considered a flaw) is the mark of a real role model. Acting young, innocent and super cutesy is not empowering; she is a man's woman, not a woman's woman. As we have seen recently in advertising, looking and acting as young as possible appeals to men, not to women.