Schmidt Defies Stereotypes On 'New Girl' & Proves There's No "Right" Way To Be A Man

It's crazy to think how different the gang on New Girl was when we first met them, but one of the characters who has grown the most is Schmidt. In Season 1, he was pretty selfish and self-absorbed, but thanks in part to his relationship with CeCe, we've seen him become a much more caring and empathetic person, and now, we get to see him grow even more. On Tuesday's New Girl episode, "Es Good," Schmidt tries to be a stereotypically "manly" man and fails, but at the same time, he realizes that he doesn't have to subscribe to any one type of man to be a good person, and it was really refreshing to watch that play out — especially since, as a woman, that's a feeling I've had to deal with in my own way plenty of times.

It all starts when construction workers are at Schmidt and CeCe's future house, working on their kitchen, and he realizes that Nick can relate to these guys, the picture of masculinity, way better than Schmidt himself can. Duh, this is a typical Nick thing. But when it comes to Schmidt, it's not surprising at all that he doesn't know much about building homes and doing manual labor. He's never done it before, and he grew up with a father who was largely absent, so where would he have picked these skills up from? But that doesn't mean he's not going to try.

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Somehow, Schmidt gets it in his head that he needs to be more like the construction workers in order to be a good husband to CeCe and a good father to their eventual children, so he tries to be more like them. He wears Nick's clothes and tries to speak their language, but he never ends up fitting in, because this is is Schmidt, the guy who wears driving moccasins. But ultimately, he ends up realizing that he doesn't need to change himself — especially after he has a heart to heart with his contractor, Mr. Jason, and finds out that he's got a soft side, too.

Schmidt definitely doesn't conform to any stereotypical notions of what a "man" should be, and it's refreshing to see a character like him on TV, especially since he normally embraces who he is. It's hard to battle with who we really are vs. who we think we should be, and women aren't the only ones under that kind of pressure. I love that Schmidt — someone who's normally so self assured and confident — grapples with that too.

Besides, I have a feeling Schmidt would make an awesome dad, whether or not he fits the clip art version of what that means. You can't deny those kids are going to be gorgeous and really, really well dressed!

Images: Patrick McElhenney/Fox, Giphy