If you don’t know Amy Schumer yet, I’ll help you – she’s the most popular comedienne in the United States right now. Her career exploded within the last two years. Her sexual life and her vagina are her landmark topics. Her enormous distance towards herself and towards her body became the main subject of most of her skits. She is constantly saying she’s not perfect, she talks about her imperfect body and the fact she doesn’t look like a model. Amy may have a few extra pounds, but she’s definitely not overweight. Her size varies between 6 and 8, which is not that extreme in the US. And that’s why there was a buzz in media just a few weeks ago. Glamour magazine put her on the cover of their Plus Size Women issue. The problem is, to qualify as Plus Size women have to be over size 12, so Amy is not even close. Amy didn’t agree with this classification, went on social media (her Instagram in particular) and said that “with all respect to the Plus Size women, I am not one of them”. She said she didn’t understand why she ended up on that particular cover.
“Glamour” responded immediately that they have always supported her and they’re a huge fan of hers (she’s been on their cover before; she even won Glamour Award as a Woman of the Year). That particular issue, the magazine said, was dedicated to body acceptance in general and that’s why she was part of the subject. The discussion went on social media again and Lena Dunham (the creator of the “Girls” show and not “with perfect body” herself), who is known for using her body as a statement-making tool, also spoke up. Lena said she didn’t understand why we still have to label women with sizes. Why do we have to categorize fashion and classify it with gender, she asked. “Shouldn’t it be for everyone…?”
I completely agree with both of them. As you probably know from reading Just Like NY, I’m all about healthy lifestyle and athletic body, and I don’t agree that overweight body is “normal” (I just think is unhealthy). Having said that, I actively hate classifying women along those lines and aggressively photoshopping their bodies in magazines. Women shouldn’t be bullied just because they’re not S size.
Another comedian, Margaret Cho, admitted that when she got her first TV show, the pressure to lose weight was huge. As an act of protest and to signal her own embracing of her body, she tattooed herself (her body is now entirely covered in tattoos, which she didn’t hesitate to show us during the stand-up I was watching).
One’s body can be an actual platform for an agenda (as Margaret used it), it can be used as a work tool (as Lena uses it), and can be a subject of self-reflexive jokes used to express women’s struggle (and this is what Amy is doing). Whatever it is, it should never be used for women’s oppression. These are our boobs, our butts, and our belly fat – and it’s nobody else’s business what we do with them. And we don’t fucking care what you think about that.