feminism

Why Amy Schumer Is My Role Model

amy schumer

The hottest comedian to hit the scene with the popular TV show “Inside Amy Schumer” and the new movie “Trainwreck” isn’t your typical “nice Jewish girl.”

Amy Schumer can be vulgar, crude, and completely inappropriate. But she’s grabbing everyone’s attention and using humor to send important messages to men and women alike. Even her childhood rabbi from Long Island admitted to enjoying Schumer’s latest film.

In August’s Glamour magazine she said, “I have no interest in trying to be the perfect feminist, but I do believe feminists are in good hands with me.” Indeed, we are. Here are three reasons why Amy Schumer is officially my role model:

READ: The Tireless Jewish Feminist Who Opposed Women’s Suffrage

1. She wants women to stop apologizing.

In her sketch titled “Compliments,” Schumer portrays women as refusing to accept compliments by putting themselves down. Women think it’s polite to self-deprecate. Why do we tear ourselves down when others are trying to build us up? Schumer’s message is loud and clear: Stop belittling yourself and own your positive traits.

Admittedly, I’m guilty of this. When friends say, “You look great,” I tend to roll my eyes and make a comment along the lines of, “I can’t remember when my hair wasn’t in a ponytail and I wasn’t wearing pants with an elastic waist.” Yikes. After watching the skit, I vow to reply with a simple, “Thank you.”

2. She makes fun of double standards.

In “Girl, You Don’t Need Makeup,” a boy band first serenades Schumer by saying she’s so beautiful that she doesn’t need to wear makeup. But once she washes her face, they change their minds and beg her to put her makeup back on. Schumer makes fun of the fantasy that women are naturally perfect-looking while also highlighting the pressure women feel to look sexy to the male gaze.

READ: Sheryl Sandberg Discusses Women’s Silence in the Workplace

Lately, celebrities have been posting “no makeup selfies” on their social media accounts. These barefaced photos are accompanied by hashtags such as #wokeuplikethis. Rather than encouraging women to embrace their natural look, these pictures often make women feel inadequate. Unlike Beyonce, without any makeup I look ghostly and sallow. But am I supposed to wake up and look like Beyonce? And how are women supposed to reconcile these bare faces with the barrage of ads telling us to remove every follicle of hair, and to color, moisturize, and tweak every cell on our bodies? Kudos to Schumer for illustrating these contradictions in a hilarious music video.

3. She has a voice and wants to be heard.

At the Gloria Awards and Gala hosted by the Ms. Foundation for Women, Schumer said, “I am a woman with thoughts and questions and sh*t to say. I say if I’m beautiful. I say if I’m strong. You will not determine my story—I will.”

I want to be the kind of woman that Schumer describes here. I want to be the one to define who I am while treating everyone else’s opinions and criticisms as white noise. I hope that girls who watch Schumer recognize their self-worth and gain the kind of confidence that she espouses.

READ: Jill Abramson is Not Ashamed of Getting Fired from the New York Times

She may describe degrading sexual encounters in graphic detail, but there’s more to her than her outrageous sense of humor. She is a comedian who gives us food for thought. She holds a mirror up to women today and enables us to mock ourselves and see where we are misguided. Schumer has a strong voice and wants to be heard. Here’s to hoping that her increasing popularity signifies that we’re ready to listen.

The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. Comments are moderated, so use your inside voices, keep your hands to yourself, and no, we're not interested in herbal supplements.

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