With seven national awards in 2015 alone, four comedy specials under her belt, and a new Judd Apatow movie which she wrote starred in, and knocked the pants off of, Amy Schumer, the comedy world’s new darling, has accomplished what many before her could not. For years she has quipped her way through the male-dominated comedy industry, carving out her own slice of the spotlight as if it were a piece of pie she unabashedly refuses to not eat.
Schumer has thrown out the rule book of female comics before her. On her Comedy Central show Inside Amy Schumer, she proves that she can make women and men alike laugh in a way that was never afforded us before. Sexual innuendo, and hilarious honesty are the back up dancers to her Beyoncé. Schumer has helped build a comedic world in which entertainment targeted towards women doesn’t have to involve crying into our Haagen Dazs.
For the season 3 premiere of Inside Amy Schumer, she created a sketch called “Last Fuckable Day,” which tackles the frustrating topic and wild double standard of ageism in Hollywood. Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tina Fey, and Patricia Arquette star reminding us that as they get on in age, Hollywood has relegated them to the posts of aging mothers, sad retirees, and craft club members. By flipping the depressing facts of this not-so-hidden Hollywood agenda into a laughable and ridiculous sketch that compares the Real Housewives to leather purses, Schumer shines a spotlight on the error of society’s ways. Everything Schumer does is funny, which is why she is making such a difference for women today. On her show and in her stand-up, her politics are cloaked by hilarity. The laughs she generates are the sugar that helps the medicine go down, forcing men and women of all ages to both pay attention and enjoy hearing about gender equality and other oft-overlooked social issues.
Schumer unapologetically reminds us that girls are funny in the same shameless, raunchy, impolite way men are. Time and time again, she proves that she doesn’t need to be a size 0 to be relevant in the media or happy with her self. Schumer is a huge beacon of hope for every young woman alive right now, telling us that we can speak openly about what we believe in, and stand behind our rights without being labelled a bra burner, crazy woman, or anything else ugly and unnecessary. If we have to be funny to make people finally listen to the things feminists everywhere have been saying for 50 years then let’s be funny. And Amy Schumer is hilarious.
Creating her own niche, Schumer has tapped into the fact that her humour is not niche at all — something that the networks, comedy big wigs, and most old men with white hair might have previously labelled her. She is living proof that you can take pride in who you are and show your worth without pandering to the masses. For Schumer, this could have meant using the same testosterone-fuelled humour of early Sarah Silverman to buy into the comedic boys club, making the same stereotypical jokes we see on Girls or following the pre-existing Hollywood Walk of Fame paved by quasi-anorexic, coked-out starlets. For us, following in Schumer’s footsteps could mean anything from not buying into a brand’s cult-like mission statement or not being fearful to label yourself a feminist.
Ultimately, as corny as it sounds, the biggest lesson we can learn from Amy Schumer is to never be afraid to be yourself. Whether or not you’re as quick-witted and funny as she is, never back down and lose yourself in the noise. Your voice deserves to be heard.