So neither should we.
The first line of CNN’s article about the new pop culture Pirelli calendar (which, to be honest, I’d never heard of) screams “Get ready to see a lot more of Amy Schumer.” And that’s C-N-N. Is it possible the Internet is making to big of a deal over the not-even-naked photo? Oh no, not the Internet.
Superstar Schumer is known for her candid, self-deprecating feminist humor that often deals with body image- one of my favorite humor bits from her show is the classic “Last F*ckable Day” sketch with Tina Fey, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Patricia Arquette where she talks about women reaching a certain age in Hollywood and becoming no longer desirable.
She was ahead of the game on the release of the semi-nude photo in which she appears casual, slouchy, wearing heels and drinking coffee. In a tongue-in-cheek modern day version of the “I am woman, hear me roar” feminist message, she posted the photo on her Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts with the caption “Beautiful, gross, strong, thin, fat, pretty, ugly, sexy, disgusting, flawless, woman.” I think she looks amazing, I love her style and pretty much everything about her.
Yet I cringed when I first saw the photo and how many hundreds of thousands of comments there were on her own Facebook page, figuring she probably didn’t want to read many of them for fear of countless hordes of idiot trolls saying mindless, body-shaming things. Because, unfortunately, we live in a society where we call a non-size-zero woman brave for posing (sorta) nude. The average American woman is a size 14. Amy is a size 6. Because of the way she’s seated, she has “rolls” (puh-lease, those are minor league) and she’s getting called fat? No, shamers. Wrong. She’s positively natural and perfect and we should be thanking her for appearing in a non-photoshopped way so that maybe a few teenage girls can see that 000 is not a size they should feel like they need to fit into at the store.
The Daily Beast managed to pen an intelligent piece about the photo:
“Schumer has always been candid about her body image, partly because she recognizes the radical power of being a successful and sexual woman in Hollywood while not having the body type of a waifish clothing rack with cartoon boobs. With great power comes great responsibility, and if not necessarily considering it a responsibility to discuss her body image struggles (because, dear God, how awful), she considers it an opportunity, and one that she’s relished.”
The best words to come out of the photo have naturally come from its brilliant photographer, the one and only talent Annie Leibovitz who told CNN “I’m a great admirer of comediennes,” the photographer said. “The Amy Schumer portrait added some fun. It’s as if she didn’t get the memo saying that she could keep her clothes on.”
That to me is the spirit of the photo, and it’s how Amy interpreted in in her tweet by pre-empting all the criticism she was about to get- by throwing out a bunch of meaningless label-words. Like, no big deal. She’s not wearing clothes, so what. Call me fat, call me thin, I don’t really give a shit. I love that she later said it was the most beautiful she’s ever felt. Good for her, and for her shining moment. Everyone else, really, especially the ten thousand critics on her Facebook page who have the nerve to call her fat at a size 6, should just go straight to hell.
Currently Senior Editor at Splice Today, Mary McCarthy’s 20-year writing career includes Salon, theWashington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, Baltimore Sun, editorial positions at several regional magazines (Chesapeake Family, What’s Up Eastern Shore) and a newspaper humor column “Quite Contrary” (Frederick Gazette, Centreville Record-Observer). She blogged for Katie Couric, appeared on The Today Show, Huffington Post Live and ABC TV News’ Moms Get Real with JuJu Chang. McCarthy, who served as an elected official on the Centreville Town Council from 2004-2007, founded Pajamasandcoffee.com in 2008. She speaks at national and regional conferences and is an instructor at The Writer’s Center in Washington, D.C.
McCarthy’s debut novel The Scarlet Letter Society was published in digital edition by Polis Books in June 2014, reaching #4 on the Amazon bestseller list for Erotic Romance, and released in paperback in May 2015. Her second novel The Scarlet Letter Scandal is scheduled for November 2015 release.
Mary is a mother of four on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, where she enjoys kayaking and sea glass hunting.