Amy Schumer seems to be everywhere right now: on TV, in the movies, and on magazine covers. Sure, she's hilarious, but what sets her apart from other comedians?
We think it's because she's actually a great role model, someone viewers can both relate to and admire. Yes, she can be vulgar, shameless, and even offensive, but that's not all she's about. We've fallen for Amy, utterly and completely, and here are 10 reasons why:
1. She won't stand for slut-shaming.
In a recent interview for Amy's new movie Trainwreck, while discussing the short skirts her character wears in the film, one of the interviewers asked her, "Do you have the word, 'skanky' in America?"
Clearly, Amy wasn't going to stand by and let this guy degrade her autobiographical character. As the interviewer backtracks, saying, "I'm not trying to offend you," Amy calmly responds with, "Whatever you're trying to do, you are. That's a rude question." Boom.
2. ... or body-shaming.
In February, after a reveiwer called Amy "chubby" and claimed "there's no way she'd be an object of heated romantic interest in the real world," she took to Twitter to respond:
I am a size 6 and have no plans of changing. This is it. Stay on or get off. Kisses! pic.twitter.com/6IsEfFOwAD
— Amy Schumer (@amyschumer) February 12, 2015
3. ... or airbrushing.
After posing nearly nude for the cover of Entertainment Weekly, she thanked them for letting her body be, instead of retouching it, as so many magazines do:
I want to especially thank @EW for not airbrushing me. For real very cool. Thank you. Proud size 6 yo!
— Amy Schumer (@amyschumer) April 2, 2015
4. She attacks rape culture with full force.
A handful of the sketches in her Comedy Central show Inside Amy Schumer mock our society's acceptance of rape culture.
In "Football Town Nights," a parody of Friday Night Lights, she criticizes how deeply ingrained rape is in sports culture — so much so that whole teams, schools, and even towns have come to accept and celebrate it. When a new coach comes in and tells the team he won't allow them to rape, he's met with responses like “Can we rape at away games?” and “What if she’s drunk and has a slight reputation and no one’s gonna believe her?” from his team.
She also takes on the touchy subject of rape in the military in a sketch about a "realistic" military video game in which her avatar is raped by an officer and has to go through an excruciating reporting and trial process.
5. She writes her own material.
Amy isn't just a writer and star of her own show; she was also the lead writer on Trainwreck.
6. She worked tirelessly to get to the top.
Amy's rise to fame wasn't easy. After graduating college, she started doing stand-up at smaller comedy clubs, then made her way to television on an episode of Comedy Central's Live At Gotham in 2003, finally breaking through on the fifth season of Last Comic Standing in 2007, when she placed fourth. From there, she was featured on roasts and had her own special on Comedy Central.
7. She's confident.
Amy doesn't have the "standard" body type of a Hollywood actress; she has curves and she's certainly not going to hide them. Photos released online in May of her at the beach show that she's perfectly fine with the paparazzi snapping pictures of her in a bikini.
Also in May, at the Gloria Awards and Gala, Amy delivered an inspiring speech full of personal anecdotes about cringe-worthy sexual encounters, crises of confidence, and body-image issues. Here's how she closed it:
I say if I'm beautiful. I say if I'm strong. You will not determine my story — I will. I will speak and share and fuck and love and I will never apologize to the frightened millions who resent that they never had it in them to do it. I stand here and I am amazing, for you. Not because of you. I am not who I sleep with. I am not my weight. I am not my mother. I am myself.
8. She calls out the ridiculous beauty standards set by the media.
Her Emmy-nominated sketch "Girl You Don’t Need Makeup" parodies every pop song that tells women they "don't know [they're] beautiful." The male singers tell us we don't need to alter our natural outer appearance to be attractive to them — because, of course, we need their approval. But when Amy takes off her makeup, they're appalled: "Hold up, girl, we spoke too soon," the boys sing. "We kinda changed our tune on the makeup thing. You'll be the hottest girl in the nation, with just a touch of foundation."
9. She stands up for other women.
Amy believes that in order for women and men to be treated equally, women first have to stop apologizing for who they are.
A sketch called "I'm Sorry" is a sobering commentary on how women are taught to constantly apologize, and "Compliments" shows how hard it is for women to accept compliments, because they're taught to undervalue themselves.
10. She knows that feminism has still got a long way to go.Trainwreck is a rejection of postfeminism. Without spoiling anything, the movie is basically saying that, if you think being a feminist means that, as a woman, you have to be everything society doesn’t want you to be — disrespectful, crass, using people for sex — you're wrong. It's not empowering.
But Amy doesn't blame those who behave this way. Thanks to brutally honest people like Amy pointing out cracks in our society, especially in our attitudes toward women, we become aware of how much work we have ahead of us.