Field Guides Field Guide to Olivia Munn Kourtney Bitterly

No, you are not reading Maxim, but you’d be forgiven for the confusion. If you heard the name Olivia Munn a few years ago, it was probably in reference to her prime place on Maxim, FHM or really any men’s magazine’s ‘Hottest Women’ issue. Olivia essentially seemed to be Weird Science come to life, a creature conjured out of the male brain that only wore French maid and Wonder Woman costumes and enjoyed talking about video games. But with a stint as on The Daily Show and roles in The Newsroom and Magic Mike, Olivia has shown that pinup isn’t her only side. Now with her current guest arc on one of HelloGiggles’ favorite shows, New Girl, it’s time we all got to know a little more about Olivia Munn. Check out the guide below.

Name: Lisa Olivia Munn

Natural Habitat and Identifying Characteristics: There are few things more irritating to me than describing a mixed race woman as an ‘exotic beauty’, which roughly 77% of articles about Olivia Munn tend to do. Olivia is undoubtedly beautiful, but it’s 2012. We’re not sailing ships to the New World. I think we can come up with better ways to describe Olivia’s Chinese, German and Irish heritage. While we’re at it, let’s eliminate the other frequent Munn moniker, ‘guy’s girl’, from our vocabulary, as well. If you describe yourself as a guy’s girl, I’m pretty much assuming that you don’t like other women. The association is one that, at times, has frustrated her. As she said during an interview with Shape, ‘Yes, it may surprise you to know that most of my close friends are women. I don’t trust a girl who says she has a hard time being friends with other women. She’s the person who will steal your boyfriend.’

The guy’s girl label started during Olivia’s time as the co-host of G4’s Attack of the Show, a show dedicated to discussing comics, gadgets and video games. The label continued to stick as she landed in Iron Man 2 and as a correspondent on The Daily Show. I know most women are jealous of Olivia for getting to do love scenes with Channing Tatum in Magic Mike, but I was insanely jealous that she got to even talk to Jon Stewart (my love for Jon Stewart runs deep. I proclaimed it in my local paper during high school, so yeah, I was obviously totally normal and killing it at seventeen).

It’s true that comics, gadgets, video games and (oddly) comedy tend to be filed as fairly dude-centric topics, but you don’t have to have a Y chromosome to love cracking jokes and playing Call of Duty. Liking ‘guy’ stuff doesn’t necessarily equate with disliking women.

Olivia attributes her love of robots, comics and all things geek guy culture to a childhood spent moving around a lot due to her stepfather’s career in the Air Force. Having to constantly try to transition between places as different as Japan and Oklahoma, Olivia has said she found ‘geeks’ always to be the most accepting of the new girl. That warm welcome caused her to redefine the word and embrace herself and her interests. In her book Suck It, Wonder Woman!: The Misadventures of a Hollywood Geek she writes, ‘The word ‘geek’ today does not mean what it used to mean. A geek isn’t the skinny kid with a pocket protector and acne. There can be computer geeks, video game geeks, car geeks, military geeks, and sports geeks. Being a geek just means that you’re passionate about something.’

I like this more inclusive definition of the word geek. I know Olivia Munn is often a divisive figure, but her m.o. seems to be giving people a break and a chance. Why not do the same for her? And if I haven’t convinced you, then maybe Elaine Benes can.

Images via here and here.

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  1. I adore and love Olivia Munn. And I would so hit that, as they say. :) When I saw she was on The New Girl, I seriously did a little dance. I love her character on The Newsroom. I think sometimes in our culture if you are a beautiful woman you aren’t allowed to be intelligent or super-intelligent and you are expected to play it down so men won’t feel emasculated and other women won’t feel intimidated. And that’s not fair. I want to see more characters like hers because as we all know, beautiful, sexy, hot, brainiac, intelligent women aren’t rare.

    PS I believe the commenter above. For awhile I had more guy friends than girl friends just because I lived in a small town with cliques and I was a geek and the main geeks were guys and I don’t steal boyfriends either. :)

  2. I like her and I do like “guy stuff” too but I have to say most my friends are guys and I swear I’ve never stolen anyone’s bf. lol this is non sense! the fact is, girls who actually like better “guy stuff” are a minority, and because of that they find more things in common with guys (please, i’m not talking about girls who casually enjoy guy stuff, who you know enjoy playing super mario and guitar hero but video games are not a main thing about their social profile… i’m talking about that true geek girls who, most of time, would choose to be gaming better than playing with barbies, or going out you know… these kind of girls are minority and most “regular girls” don’t enjoy their company as well as most guys – that’s the reason some they tend to have more guy friends, it doesnt mean that they dislike girls at all! I love games since childhood, and I get along with my girl friends – who doesnt like gaming – but most my friends are guys, though I’d love to be friends with any girl gamer I find) =)

  3. I love Olivia Munn! She’s funny and cute and super smart! She’s also on HBO on The Newsroom – very smart and funny show written by Aaron Sorkin.

  4. ^Apologies, I went from not wanting to live on this planet anymore to staying a couple more years to be wed this woman!

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  6. Olivia Munn is my invisible pretend best friend… and she even confirmed that FACT on #twitter. I <3 her so much. #SoCool!!

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  8. I’ve always enjoyed Olivia. She was funny on AotS and she’s proven herself as a good actress on The Newsroom. I’m not sure why so many people dislike her. She’s smart, pretty, and funny. Everyone has their detractors I guess. I’m pretty sure they’re just jealous.

  9. I wasn’t initially a fan of Olivia Munn because I always felt she was more intelligent than she portrayed on Attack of the Show. I love her on New Girl though and thought she did a great job in Magic Mike. The couple times I saw her as a correspondent on Daily Show, I was eh… I think she does MUCH better as an actress than a “news anchor” but that’s just my opinion.

    For the record, totally understand your love of Jon Stewart. He is such an intelligent man. I’d love to sit down and talk with him one day!

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