With the recent backlash against the trailer for Amy Schumer’s upcoming film, I Feel Pretty, which premiered yesterday on The Ellen Show, an alarming trend has made itself apparent in a post-Trump “elected” world in which the fear of offending the wrong faction of women (congenitally gendered as such or otherwise) has reached a fever pitch as a result of the pervasive apprehension over oppression and/or being “discounted.” Co-written by Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein–the same duo that brought you Never Been Kissed before veering off track with He’s Just Not That Into You and How to Be Single—I Feel Pretty is causing an uproar when its intention was solely to uplift (even if it’s very predictably going to follow the disappointing trajectory of Trainwreck).
The crux of the offense taken by the premise of the new movie was crystallized by comedian Sofie Hagen’s series of ranting tweets (as all series of tweets tend to be), an excerpt of which went as follows: “Who is this meant to resonate with? Before we can enjoy the premis [sidebar: yes she misspelled that], surely we have to buy into the fact that she is not pretty. How many of us are bigger than her? Are we supposed to accept that THIS is ugly when it’s all we’ve been taught that we should aim for?”
Well, not to be brutally honest, but Amy Schumer isn’t exactly easy on the eyes, resembling more prized pig than classic American ideal. There, I said it. Just as Schumer’s character, Renee, herself bluntly states, “Women know deep down, it’s what’s on the outside that the whole world judges.” And yes, this is true. To delude ourselves into thinking otherwise with all this bullshit about body acceptance (a greater metaphor for mediocrity acceptance in this country) is, in part, why so much in entertainment has deteriorated in quality and the creation of bona fide stars à la Marilyn Monroe–who, by the way, was probably fatter than Schumer but was actually attractive thanks to a serene aura spurred on by perpetual sedation. To that point, the way men fawned over Monroe had nothing to do with her confidence so much as her blatant vulnerability and according low self-esteem.
In this regard, the message behind I Feel Pretty–to have confidence in yourself no matter what you look like–is obviously not intended to have incited any fury, let alone fury of this magnitude. What’s more, no one gave Shallow Hal–which is essentially the flipside narrative as told from a male perspective–this level of a shitstorm when it was released. Was that merely because it was 2001 and Hollywood was permitted the now extreme luxury of being irreverent? Of not taking into consideration everyone’s outrage over pretty much every minutiae applicable to anti-feminism?
If women are scandalized that a person who looks like Schumer would need to get a concussion in order to feel confident and beautiful, they need to fuckin’ check them damn selves. It’s real great and all to promote body positivity and the numerous hippy dippy phrases that come with it, but sometimes hot is hot, and ugly is not. Why can’t we just admit that, at least for the sake of preserving the established tenets of the comedy genre that are going to be far less comedic when having to take everyone’s sensitivity into account (Doug Kenney definitely would not have succeeded in this climate)?
Incidentally, Schumer’s attempt at promoting a healthy self-perception is much needed as it’s usually when women appear their most self-loathing and insecure that men pounce. Since, you know, many of them want an easy mark, to prey on someone prone to feeling boosted by even the slightest compliment so that she’ll subsequently put up with a lot of unnecessary fuckery. Lord knows that’s the only reason I ever had a boyfriend.