Amy Schumer: The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo
A Code Like A Girl Book Review
This is the first of 10 feminist books I am planning to read and review this year for Code Like A Girl. For each review I am going to answer the same questions as if someone else is interviewing me about the book.
How did you read this book?
Audiobook, mostly in 25 minute chunks while driving back and forth between work and home. It was awesome to hear the book read by Amy Shumer herself. I love it when authors of biographical books read it themselves. It gives you an even deeper connection to their experience and story. By the end you almost feel like you are friends.
What was your favorite quote/passage and why?
“I know my worth. I embrace my power. I say if I am beautiful. I say if I am strong. You will not determine my story, I will. I will speak and share and f**k and love and I will never apologize for it. I am amazing for you, not because of you. I am not who I sleep with. I am not my weight, I am not my mother. I am myself and I am all of you.”
These words are so powerful and raw. I love that she is taking ownership of who she is, good and bad. I feel like in today’s social media world people only show the good things about themselves, and pretend the bad parts aren’t there because it may devalue them in societies eyes, in your eyes. We all need to remember that we own who we are, the good and the bad, and we wouldn’t be the same people without it. My eating disorder was all about changing how I looked to be accepted by everyone including myself. The minute I started to accept myself for who I was at any size I started to let go of how people viewed me as part of my self worth.
What is the most surprising part of the book? Why?
She talks about sex and her vagina A LOT. Some of you might say. Um, Dinah, it is Amy Shumer’s book and that is what her comedy is based on… The thing is I haven’t seen her movie “Train Wreck” or her TV show, or any of her stand up. So essentially I met her for the first time with this book and all the sex and vagina talk was a bit of a shocking at first.
I am glad this was the way I was introduced to her because now when I see her stand up, or TV show I will know the motivation behind it. I think that is going to make it even funnier. I think it is also going to be like seeing a friend do comedy instead of a stranger. When you have a personal connection to someone, then their work takes on new value for you.
What is the one thing you want everyone to know about this book?
This is not a self help book. This is just Amy’s raw, honest, funny, true story. She is a real person with talents, and faults who has made mistakes but found success with hard work and staying true to herself. That in and of itself is inspiring. That is what life is about! Working hard, doing what you love, and being yourself.
What did you learn about yourself by reading this book?
It reinforced my believe that unapologetically being yourself is one of the most powerful things you can do. It was awesome to see how someone could commit to that and become a successful woman in Hollywood, when the expectation of women, especially in Hollywood, is to conform to a very specific standard. Amy does not and will not conform, and it is specifically for that reason that she has become successful and will remain successful.
I do not conform to society's standards of women. I am a female executive in a tech company who runs the technical side of the house. I am loud, ambitious, and smart. I am a fat crossfitter. I believe in health at every size, and I think diet culture is one of the most toxic parts of our society. I have recovered from an eating disorder and have battled depression for the last 10 years. All of this together makes me who I am and I refuse to hide any of it. I refuse to feel shame for any of it. It is precisely because of these things that I am able to do what I do and be successful at it.
What part of the book made you most uncomfortable?
To be honest, none of it made me very uncomfortable while listening to it alone. However, if someone else had been in the car with me while she was talking about sex, vaginas, and penises that definitely would have made me uncomfortable. I made sure that book didn’t come on when I had passengers in the car!
If you met the author what would you ask her?
What is is your favourite joke to tell and will you tell it to me now?