Amy Schumer is brave and so are you!
The 2016 Pirelli Calendar images were released today. Traditionally the Pirelli calendar features beautiful women in a small amount of clothing welcoming you into each new month with their own take on joy and sexuality. This year the producers and photographer Annie Leibovitz took the calendar in a different direction. The 2016 calendar features comediennes, activists, athletes, and models. There is a mixture of talent and beauty and with that comes and even greater variety of circumstances and vendettas.
Comedienne Amy Schumer is one of the lucky women to be hand-picked by Miss Leibovitz for this calendar feature and she is a fantastic choice. I saw her movie and I now think she should be president (honestly, it was that funny and I have really loose standards with politics).
She stands among 11 additional brilliant and talented women including Serena Williams and Patti Smith. Each woman has her own page-long feature giving detail into her life, her humor, her goals, and her accomplishments yet, the only comment I’ve heard or read has been that ‘Amy Schumer is soooooooooooooooooo brave’. Put that comment on repeat and you’ve just experienced my entire social media experience for the day.
There is no contesting that she looks exquisite posing for the photographer with coffee cup in hand, her pleasant confidence, and her beautiful body stretched out long and natural. The bravery comment comes from the fact that Amy has posed nearly-nude in a publication that is famous for featuring the media-perfect bodies we’ve all come to know and love. Her body is lovely, but her body is fat.
Fat according to what we’re told is perfect.
Fat according to those who preceded her.
Curvy according to plus-sized model standards.
Brave according to those who’ve never seen someone without washboard abs (I don’t think Amy would get offended if she knew I said she didn’t have washboard abs. I think her abs are lovely).
Amy Schumer is brave but her bravery isn’t because she posed her imperfect and rolly-polly body in a very public way. She isn’t brave because she is ugly and unfit and yet still has the confidence to be seen.**
She is not superficially brave.
Her bravery is her challenge and fight against what we know to be true about beauty and confidence. Her bravery, as much as I hate it, is in her existing atop such a public pedestal. We have an Instagram filter for everything, we’re sold 40FF bras on 34B models, and our hereditary bloat on our stomach needs to meet it’s maker (in a dark and sinister way). Amy Schumer is so brave because she is one of the few walking through the desert of perfection that all of us will eventually walk through. This desert sucks us dry of our identity, our confidence, our natural traits. This desert provides oases in lemon cleanses, expensive purses, and ‘#Iwokeuplikethis’ posts.
I’m not saying that she isn’t perfect and she now is trying to win our acceptance….I’m saying that she is perfectly made and that she is brave because she is fighting a way in through the brainwash, even if that means sacrificing herself (because lord knows we fall into the trap every day).
The fact that she posed semi-nude for the world to see and comment on is very very brave. I would never want my image to be so public that I didn’t have control over who saw it and what they said about me. Amy basically walked into a firing squad and handed out shotguns. If this was my life you would likely find me in my closet surrounded by half-eaten donuts and Velveeta.
The fact that she is a regular woman that posed semi-nude and not a supermodel that posed semi-nude is NOT brave. The fact that a supermodel poses semi-nude is not brave. Women are women.
You should never have to feel like you are ‘brave’ for existing.
Be brave for what you stand for. Be brave because you cruised into the gas station after being on ‘E’ for 3 days. Be brave because you took a different job or relocated to a different city. Be brave because you walked out. Be brave because someone needed you. Be brave because you love. Be brave because you adopted. Be brave because you let a child murder your body so that you could love and raise it for the next 18 years. Be brave because you’ve never tried fried scorpion candy (and maybe it sounds like a cool way to die if that happens).
Be brave because of the things you do for yourself and those you love.
Amy is brave because she loves herself and she loves her fellow woman enough to show the world the extraordinary that lies within the ordinary.
Amy Schumer is brave and so are you.
**Also please let it be known that I do not believe that Amy is fat, ugly, unfit, etc. I chose those words to get closer to the thoughts we create about ourselves.