Amy Schumer is a comedian. Her main goal is to make people laugh — something, for the most part, she's been successful at. But Schumer has also become something more: She's spoken at the Ms. Foundation for Women's 2014 Gloria Awards, been Glamour's 2015 Trailblazer of the Year, and used her platform to "inspire change."
Consciously or unconsciously, she's begun making her mark as an activist.
In those 2014 and 2015 speeches, Schumer inspired women with her message about confidence.
"I say if I'm beautiful. I say if I'm strong. You will not determine my story — I will. ... I stand here and I am amazing, for you. Not because of you."
We loved this Amy. We championed her, so much so that some women may have turned a blind eye to a few important details in those speeches, but it glaringly surfaced in her May InStyle cover story.
In the interview with Jessica Seinfeld, Schumer opened up about her beauty and wellness regimens, her love of marijuana, and — once again — her confidence. But when Seinfeld asked her about aging in Hollywood, her answer kind of startled me.
"What's good about not being a model is that it's not the thing I trade on. Once I start looking older, that won't affect me. I have never gotten anything done because I'm, like, so gorgeous. I'm good-looking enough that I can work in the business. I get enough attention from men that I feel good. I see pictures of myself now, and I look younger than I think of myself. It hasn't scared me yet."
Girl, didn't you just say you define your beauty standards? Didn't you just tell the world that "I stand here and I am amazing, for you. Not because of you," and that only you can name yourself valuable? Hence my total and utter confusion.
I am not saying that women can't enjoy being attractive to others. Being flattered by a man's attention isn't a bad thing. However, the relationship between a dude's opinion of her and her feeling good about herself is problematic and, frankly, contradictory to the story she's consistently trying to feed us.
Schumer has always pinned her worth on men's opinions.
She has famously talked about her ability to "catch a dick" at any size, but has repeatedly noted how her self-confidence has been destroyed by men not finding her hot. She has also said that she "found [her self-confidence] again" by valuing herself.
"My parents made me think I was a genius supermodel, and it was kind of too late when I found out that they had been lying. But I was always really confident, though there have been bumps in the road. During freshman year of college the girls at the school were just so much hotter than me. I couldn’t compete, and I lost all my self-esteem. I was confused about where my value lay, and then I figured it out."
But if men's validation is still an integral part of that self-love, how can she claim to find value only in herself?
To claim independent confidence, you have to ditch everyone's opinions of you.
Schumer claimed that "...even when I'm feeling bad, I still feel like I have value." That's wonderful, but how much of it is rooted in the male opinion?
It's OK for male approval to make a woman feel good or bad, but getting "enough of it" to make you feel good is just a step in the wrong direction.
Whether they give you attention or not, you should still feel good. Period.