If you don’t know, now you know. Amy Schumer is the best comedian on television right now. I’m a little late to the party, but I fell in love with Amy earlier this year at the beginning of “Inside Amy Schumer” season 2 on Comedy Central. Tonight was the season finale. It was just as on point as the episodes that came before it.
Between the shows mixture of standup and sketch comedy, Schumer reveals the raunchy and often ignored sides of the female psyche; or the sides that men supposedly don’t want to see. On her Comedy Central show, Schumer presents sketches that expose the absurd, and sometimes horrifying, double standards that women have to live with in society. Though Schumer’s comedy highlights that the very act of being a female comic is an act of feminism, her sketches are funny to both men and women. What a concept.
Recently Schumer gave a speech about confidence, and that it’s not always a cut-and-dry journey to get there.
She starts off in a place that isn’t particularly uplifting, and is at times painfully relatable.
Right before I left for college, I was running my high school. People knew me. They liked me. I was an athlete and a good friend. I felt pretty, I felt funny, I felt sane. Then I got to college in Maryland. My school was voted number one...for the hottest freshman girls in Playboy that year. And not because of me. All of a sudden, being witty and charismatic didn't mean shit. Day after day, I could feel the confidence drain from my body. I was not what these guys wanted. I was getting no male attention, and I'm embarrassed to say, it was killing me.
As a result, Schumer experienced an uncomfortable sexual experience with a male. She went into this experience hoping that it would make her feel validated. The terrible sex and lack of respect for herself actually did end up in self validation, but not in the way that she expected.
I want to scream for myself, "Get out of here, Amy. You are beautiful; you are smart, and worth more than this. This is not where you stay." I sigh, I hear my own heartbreak, I fight back my own tears.
I could feel I was losing myself to this girl in this bed. I was looking down at myself from the ceiling fan. What happened to this girl? How did she get here? I felt the fan on my skin and I went, "Oh, wait! I am this girl! We got to get me out of here!"
I never heard from him again, but felt only grateful for being introduced to my new self, a girl who got her value from within. Now I feel strong and beautiful. I walk proudly down the streets of Manhattan. I am a great friend and an even better sister. I am a hot-blooded fighter and I am fearless. But I did morning radio last week, and a DJ asked, "Have you gained weight? You seem chunkier to me. You should strike while the iron is hot, Amy." And it's all gone. In an instant, it's all stripped away.
I wrote an article for Men's Health and was so proud, until I saw instead of using my photo, they used one of a 16-year-old model wearing a clown nose, to show that she's hilarious. But those are my words. What about who I am, and what I have to say? I can be reduced to that lost college freshman so quickly sometimes, I want to quit. Not performing, but being a woman altogether. I want to throw my hands in the air, after reading a mean Twitter comment, and say, "All right! You got it. You figured me out. I'm not pretty. I'm not thin. I do not deserve to use my voice. I'll start wearing a burqa and start waiting tables at a pancake house. All my self-worth is based on what you can see." But then I think, Fuck that. I am not laying in that freshman year bed anymore ever again. I am a woman with thoughts and questions and shit to say. I say if I'm beautiful. I say if I'm strong. You will not determine my story — I will.