Rachel Bloom wants to make us uncomfortable–in the best way possible. Bloom, the creator and star of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” wants everyone, men and women alike, to question gender stereotypes, norms, and relationships. This is something that we sorely need right now.
Bloom, who was recently interviewed in Bustle, talked about where Season 3 of her cult favorite will go–and how the show is exploring the word “crazy” in a feminist context. Typically speaking, we, as feminists, don’t use the word “crazy” in connection to women, considering that word is often used as a way to disparage womens’ emotions, as Bloom herself pointed out:
“It’s taught me, personally, to never judge a movie or a tv show, or a book for that matter, to be totally trite, by its cover because you never what the actual content of it is. You never know what it’s actually going to say or what it’s actually going to deconstruct. It’s like, just watch the show you f*cking *ssh*oles.”
But I do love that Bloom is exploring the c-word, whether she always succeeds or not–because succeeding isn’t also always the point either–the conversation is. Bloom went on to explain:
“Her mental state was always necessary to this show, and that’s part of the term ‘crazy.’ Well is she crazy? Is it understandable that that she’s crazy because of the pressures placed on her and her deep unhappiness? What does crazy even mean? Isn’t everyone in the show crazy?”
Marriage and motherhood, too, are often something many women feel pushed into by society–in a way that men aren’t. This double standard, is part of the reason why Bloom feels like many women end up in bad relationships:
“In any show out there, love and romantic love and obsession is kind of on this pedestal like, well that’s the purest thing and it’s like, well, no. Love is wonderful, finding the right partner is wonderful … but our obsessions stem from years and years and years, stem from our bodies telling us to reproduce. So often the people we fall in love with are not the people we’re going to be with for the long run, they’re people who play into our pathology, and the unhealthy patterns that we’ve learned as a child. So I think, to me, that’s the most subversive thing about the show because I haven’t seen that many people make that point.”
Bloom also had a lot to say about… boobs. For any woman who’s breastfed or been sexualized (which is basically every woman ever), the idea that breasts are controversial is nothing new, but definitely something oddly unexplored in popular media, as Bloom also discussed:
“The idea of having heavy boobs, it’s a body type thing. Because you have trouble fitting in bras, and it’s separate from the weight aspect of it … [it’s] interesting because boobs are so sexualized, yet the type of body type that lends itself to having big boobs is sometimes not sexualized.
We deify boobs and yet they’re really meant to feed babies and are sacs of yellow fat.”
And that is precisely why Bloom writes the songs that she does–as a way to start a conversation, especially around issues like having breasts or being sexualized or dealing with depression. In essence, her zany song and dance routines allow other women feel less alone.
Bloom knows this only too well, considering she has largely been outspoken about own struggles with mental health, like anxiety and depression, She believes in airing our darkest thoughts and turning them into something both catchy and thought-provoking.
This post is part of the Here.Now series, which seeks to destigmatize mental health,
and is made possible by UJA-Federation of New York and The Jewish Board.
You can find other educational mental health resources here.