Amy Schumer Asks Us To Reevaluate "Who Wore It Best" Comparisons
Amy Schumer would like women's magazines to stop pitting ladies against each other, mainly as it applies to the question, "Who wore it best?" At the 2015 Women's Media Awards in New York City on Nov. 5, Amy Schumer discussed the struggles women face when it comes to the media. As New York Magazine reported, the room was filled with powerful women ranging from Gloria Steinem to Sally Field, all celebrating the Women's Media Center's 10th anniversary.
She opened the awards ceremony with her usual hilarious, self-deprecating humor, but this time the punch line had a more serious topic at heart. In a transcript provided by NY Mag, Schumer said, "The first picture [the press] took of me, I think they thought I looked like the devil. And then I started reading these magazines, and they’re like, 'Who wore it better?' In one of them, I was next to Caitlyn Jenner and Kris Jenner. And then me and Fergie. And I wish, god, I wish this wasn’t so negative. I wish these magazines weren't pitting women against each other."
The thing is, asking people "who wore a dress better" isn't just a casual comparison of sartorial skills. It's something involving a winner and a loser, thus making two talented, successful women compete against each other in terms of looks. It's nothing short of degrading.
Schumer went on to explain, "I have a real love-hate relationship with women’s magazines. These photos are not important, and it’s images that we see every day. There’s no need to pit women against each other." She added that these images might appear harmless at first glance, but that they ultimately seep into our minds. It's not positive (or confidence-inspiring) to see women compete with each other in terms of how they look, though, and it doesn't set a great example for young women who are trying to figure out what's important and what's meaningful in this crazy world.
Schumer wrapped up her speech by saying, "Women’s media is powerful, and we need more women. The WMC is guiding a generation of women into being media leaders. It’s about helping girls figure out how to become more confident in who they are so they can tell their own stories."
One way that this confidence won't be able to develop is arguably by being berated with images of who looks better, who styles better, and who's body rocked a dress better. By only highlighting women's appearances, publications are often overshadowing the more important aspects of the women in the pictures... like their talents, their leadership, and their stories. So thank you, Amy Schumer, for calling out something so easily brushed off as trivial.
Of course, this isn't the first time Schumer has stood up for how women are portrayed in the media and treated in real life. Below are five sketches from her show Inside Amy Schumer that take a solid and unapologetic feminist stand.
In her sketch "Compliments," Schumer tackled the issue women seem to have when it comes to accepting praise and compliments about their appearance. Some of us can dish them out easily enough to our girlfriends, but when it comes to accepting one in return, we turn them into self-deprecating comments and steadfast refusals.
Schumer further highlights how difficult it is to believe that we're beautiful. For example, upon hearing, "I love your dress!" from her friend, one woman respond, "No, I paid like $2 for it and it's probably made out of old Burger King crowns."
In the sketch "Nutritionist," Schumer poked fun at the crazy hoops we often have to jump through if we want to be perceived as attractive by Hollywood standards — one being insane dieting. When the nutritionist asked what Schumer eats during a typical day, she answered with some uber-healthy options like yogurt and granola for breakfast, then a salad for lunch. To which the nutritionist answered, "Are you always such a f*cking trash heap?" Ouch. She then goes on to suggest a few diets Schumer can try out, like the "Instagram diet" where you order tasty food, take a picture of it, then throw it away in the garbage.
3. Sex Prep
In this one, Schumer gets a call from a hook up buddy who's coming through town that night, and she immediately jumps through the process many women are taught they have to undergo in order to appear hot and desirable by a partner. Hint: The whole thing starts at 11 a.m. and doesn't stop until almost 8 p.m. Hey, waxing, pedicures, blowouts, facials, and calling off of work take time...
4. New Body
In the sketch "New Body," Schumer goes inside a boutique to find clothes for the new body she'll have after her workout plan starts showing results. That workout plan began that morning, BTW. The salesgirl takes her to the "Five Months From Now" section where she picks up a size 0 dress, which was a little smaller than the size 2 body type she was thinking of achieving.
To that, the salesgirl answers, "If you make your delusional diet just a little more unachievable, that dress will just hang off of you."
5. 12 Angry Men
In the sketch "12 Angry Men," Schumer is put on trial for a heinous crime: Not being hot enough for being on television. It sounds absurd when written out, right? But that's the reality we're living in.
And at the end of the day, the absurdity of our reality is just what Amy Schumer is trying to combat.