Daria and The Crop Top Anomaly

The sarcastic icon that is Daria Morgendorffer is typically known for being a sexless, snarky type who may or may not have a hole where her vagina is supposed to be. Every convention established in the show dictates that to make Daria a sexual being is to negate her aura of detachment and realism. That’s why the introduction of her boyfriend was gradual and initially instituted through his relationship with Jane. But even this isn’t what originally set the tone for Daria’s uncomfortable sexuality. It was the wearing of a crop top in “Quinn the Brain,” the third episode in season two of the series.

"Hot" Daria
“Hot” Daria
Regardless of whether or not there were legitimate reasons for Daria to don a crop top (which there were as 1) it was the 90s and 2) it was part of an ingenious scheme to get Quinn to give back Daria’s identity), the very sight of Daria in this state entirely changes how we’re able to see her. One might not go so far as to say that a total loss of respect is the case, however, it begs the question: If even Daria isn’t immune to the pressures of looking attractive, then who the fuck is? And don’t say Mother Teresa. I’m pretty sure her genitalia was as non-existent as we though Daria’s was.
Daria cultivates Quinn's look for herself in season two of the series
Daria cultivates Quinn’s look for herself in season two of the series
Her decision to wear a crop top is anything but cursory. It signaled the show’s later shift to a more teen drama feel (see: the crescendo of the Tom/Jane/Daria love triangle in “Dye! Dye! My Darling” in season four). Of course, it was never as melodramatic as, say, My So-Called Life, but still, the crop top was a symbol of sexuality that perverted Daria’s integrity up until that moment. Am I saying Daria didn’t deserve to have her metaphorical cake and eat it too? No. I’m just saying she could have done it behind closed doors like the aloof motherfucker she truly was.