First, a Disclaimer: In good conscience, I don’t think I can use the term Shout Out. Let’s be honest, it isn’t the 90’s… and I know, I know. Keeping it Real is only marginally less dated – but it’s relevant to the cause, so I’m sticking with it.
Without further ado, our premiere Keeping it Real Honoree is none other than the champion of smart, real, funny women: Tina Fey. As one of the first female head writers on SNL, the creator of the all too relatable film Mean Girls, and one of the few Hollywood ladies to never succumb to the plastic-surgery-starvation-diets-bobble-head-physique so popular among her peers,* Tina Fey basically rules. She’s a Jane Austen for the 21st century, with her insightful social commentary lightly veiled by her sharp wit and mild self-deprecation.
I’ve read slights from naysayers who find her character Liz Lemon of 30 Rock to be offensive, because she’s a perennial geek and fashion disaster on the show. In reality, isn’t that how all of us feel at some point in our lives? It’s exhausting to try to live up to the flawless archetype of the Woman Who Has it All. Writing honestly and openly (and laugh out loud funny) about the absurdities of those expectations is a refreshing respite in a world of Paris Hiltons and Rosie Huntington-Whitleys.
Personally I think Tina Fey is gorgeous as well as brilliant and hilarious, and the world would be a better place if we had more women like her filling the media-waves with their charm and cleverness.
“But I think the first real change in women’s body image came when JLo turned it butt-style. That was the first time that having a large-scale situation in the back was part of mainstream American beauty. Girls wanted butts now. Men were free to admit that they had always enjoyed them. And then, what felt like moments later, boom—Beyoncé brought the leg meat. A back porch and thick muscular legs were now widely admired. And from that day forward, women embraced their diversity and realized that all shapes and sizes are beautiful. Ah ha ha. No. I’m totally messing with you. All Beyonce and JLo have done is add to the laundry list of attributes women must have to qualify as beautiful. Now every girl is expected to have Caucasian blue eyes, full Spanish lips, a classic button nose, hairless Asian skin with a California tan, a Jamaican dance hall ass, long Swedish legs, small Japanese feet, the abs of a lesbian gym owner, the hips of a nine-year-old boy, the arms of Michelle Obama, and doll tits. The person closest to actually achieving this look is Kim Kardashian, who, as we know, was made by Russian scientists to sabotage our athletes.”
― Tina Fey, Bossypants
*Some of you may be thinking “She isn’t under as much pressure to be skinny and flawless. She’s a writer.” First, I must point out she is also an actress. Second, even if we set that aside, there is also an extremely odd amount of pressure for anyone in Hollywood – writers, directors, producers – especially anyone who is a woman, to maintain a certain look. A look that is marketable and fits in with the rest of Hollywood, a bizarroland of mythic proportions. I concede that this is my opinion based on my own observations when I was living in said bizarroland. Others may disagree, but I believe anyone who works in Hollywood will be assessed and scrutinized based on their appearance more than on their talent.