No, I was not scared to attend my high school.
No, I was not scared to attend my high school.
No, I was not scared to attend my high school.
Yessir, chivalry is not yet dead and neither are male self-congratulating egos. She smiles weakly, supposing he means well—she’s in a hurry anyway.Read More
It is 8 a.m., and I am that commuter on the train. The one breaking the sacred early morning silence with suppressed laughter staring down at the book in my lap. With abrupt exclamations like “I become furry!” and “I start to bleed!” lining each chapter, How to Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran is hilarious. If I wasn’t laughing at her writing, I was hysterical about what my fellow neighbors on the train might have thought upon seeing “I don’t know what to call my breasts!” at the top of the page.
Raunchy, real, and unapologetic in sharing her stream of consciousness, Moran is widely praised as a “feminist heroine for our time.” But with great humor, comes great responsibility. Multiple failures to be inclusive and an overall assumptive nature throughout have left this “woman’s guide” subject to wide criticism.
In a particularly well-executed examination of the book, Roxane Gay’s essay, “How We All Lose” from Bad Feminist, calls out a few of the blanketed statements that Moran makes. In the “I am a Feminist!” chapter discussing double standards in gender equality, one of the most oft-quoted excerpts is:
“Are the men doing it? Are the men worrying about this as well? Is this taking up the men’s time? Are the men told not to do this, as it’s ‘letting our side down’? Are the men having to write bloody books about this exasperating, retarded, time-wasting bullshit?”
I wince at the offensive use of the word “retarded” here but ultimately agree that yes, this is a catchy idea. Sure enough, it is largely the question that fuels the #AskHerMore campaign at awards show red carpets, where it is finally being acknowledged that the women in extravagant ball gowns do, indeed, have more to say than what designer they’re wearing. The popular GIF of Cate Blanchett bending over to follow the gaze of a camera panning down her dress and demanding: “Do you do that to the guys??” is a perfect summation of the feelings there. That question she asks is generally a good rule to “determine if some sexist bullshit is afoot.”
But Moran takes it too far. She continues: “It was the ‘Are the boys doing it?’ basis on which I finally decided I was against women wearing burkas.”
Hmmm. As Gay acknowledges, “This is an odd, glaring statement as I’m not sure what Moran’s stance on burkas has to do with anything.” Muslim women wear burkas for themselves, their religion. It’s part of their culture and “we don’t get to decide for Muslim women what does or does not oppress them, no matter how highly we think of ourselves.” Moran moves on and provides no further explanation to how her version of eye-for-an-eye equality applies to an entirely different culture from her own. Just because an aspect of a culture doesn’t align with an individual’s view of feminism or self-proclaimed “rule of thumb,” it does not grant anyone room for criticism.
Moran also says she wants to “reclaim the phrase ‘strident feminist’ in the same way the hip-hop community has reclaimed the word ‘n*gger.’”
I’ll pause here for an even bigger HMMM.
To compare the struggle of African-Americans, their marginalization, and the ongoing racism that such an enormous group of people in our society today still undergo is something fragile and sensitive; something I feel almost uncomfortable mentioning in this paragraph. I don’t think Moran—a white, English woman with several published works—has the right to talk about this in her book. But I think (and I hope) she knows this. Her comparison seems like a kind of extreme, exaggerated joke—it’s just one that isn’t very funny.
A friend once told me after reading a feminist piece I’d written that he’d laughed out loud several times “which was great, especially considering how dense and serious feminist texts are.” I considered this—most iconic feminist texts are intense and can be rather intimidating. The Feminine Mystique—a staple in any women’s studies class—quite literally has the word “mystique” in the title. And let me just say right now—I haven’t read it. As a young and learning feminist, I have reached for less traditionally “academic” things to draw from. Mindy Kaling, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey and Kristin Chenoweth are among the lady authors proudly read and loved on my bookshelf. Moran’s hilarious stories were yet another of the more obvious and fun starting points.
But that’s just it—feminism does not hold a reputation for being “fun.” Dramatic protests, extremist women, man-hating are usually some of the stereotypes associated with the movement. This perception doesn’t allow much room for humor to gain a foothold.
But of course, this is a serious matter we’re dealing with.
There is nothing fun about the meninist Twitter account. (Check out another Lady’s opinion on that here.)
It’s not fun when a strange man calls me “baby” from across the street.
It’s not fucking fun that women must undergo biased counseling to make a decision about their own bodies, to earn as little as 67 centsto each dollar that men make, only to be more likely to suffer workplace discrimination when they do have—and are crushing—that job.
Feminist issues are issues of human rights. And fighting for human rights isn’t fun. But how many more people have seen Pitch Perfect 2 than The Hunting Ground? More people read humorous books, watch humorous shows and movies. In fact, from a very scientific poll I recently conducted (ahem…messaging friends with various Pusheen cats, on Facebook, during work hours), 100% of my outwardly feminist friends had heard of or were more familiarized with Lena Dunham’s Not that Kind of Girl than the works of Simone de Beauvoir. With humor and hilarity, we are given a grander stage, a brighter light. Because haven’t you heard? Women are funny now!
Humor may be easier, more digestible to approach but that doesn’t necessarily mean humor is simple. I took a class that counted towards a philosophy credit called “The Philosophy of Comedy” during college. I think it’s safe to say that if the philosophers of academia count analyzing old SNL episodes as part of required “higher education” learning, humor can carry just as complex layers as any serious-toned material.
I loved How to Be a Woman. If I ever see Caitlin Moran, I will immediately run up and hug her, assuring her that I, too, thought I could opt out of having a period. But! I also loved how reading Bad Feminist afterwards made me question and rethink; turning the feminist wheels in my brain on their ever-growing newborn baby sides. Humor can be used to our advantage. I think it’s important to have humor on our side. But it’s also just as important to know what humor costs us. Gay writes that “There’s so much in [Moran’s] book that demands we reconcile casual insensitivity and narrow cultural awareness for the sake of funny feminist (albeit dated) thinking.” From my own—and many others’ experience—humorous feminism is many people’s first engagement with the subject. Don’t we want to make a good impression?
Funny feminism can be good. We need funny feminism. But we must be careful in approaching “gender matters in a selective manner, one grounded in a narrow brand of feminine experience—all for the sake of being funny.” These are the narratives that people who are learning, people who might not have any idea at all (people like me!) pick up first—and it’s therefore important that we get it right.
featured on Logan Squarist
Urban Folk Circuit (@urban_folk) will be joining forces one last time with Swap-O-Rama Rama (@SORR_Chicago) and theLogan Square Farmer’s Market(@lsfarmersmarket) at the Congress Theater (@congresstheater, 2135 N. Milwaukee Ave.) for their final installment of this craft-tastic partnership.
On Sunday, March 24, shop local art, local food and take part in Swap-O-Rama Rama’s DIY workshops from 10 am to 2 pm.
As Chicago’s only year-round craft market, Urban Folk Circuit features the work of local vendors in an effort to promote small-scale and sustainable consumerism.
Hand-printed cards, soaps and baby bibs—there is something for everyone.
Fotio, “the photo booth without the booth,” also will be there for you to document your time and add photographic fun.
Admission is free to shop both the Urban Folk Circuit market and the Logan Square Farmer’s Market.
With a suggested donation of $10 and a bag of clothes per person (or for families, $20 and a bag of clothing), swap out and recycle your old clothes with Swap-O-Rama Rama. Upon entry to Swap-O-Rama Rama, you will have access to all the creative DIY workshops with materials readily available to you. Last month, these included a T-shirt scarf making workshop and “Put a Bird on It” rubber stamping.
These separate entities each advocate the importance of handmade goods and local items, making for a whirlwind event of crafting power. If you are a supporter of handmade and shopping locally in Chicago, don’t miss their last hoorah at the Congress Theater. Urban Folk Circuit will continue their monthly markets come April 20, at The Grafton in Lincoln Square.
featured as part of a blog series for monthly craft series, Urban Folk Circuit
In the world of handmade, many artists utilize old materials to repurpose, reuse, and recycle them into something totally different and unique. While this trend stems in large part from the “green” movement, there has been an overarching gravitation towards all things “old” in recent years. Past styles resurface as the new fashion on runways, while pictures are cooler when taken with a Super 8 camera and developed in a dark room. We all know that “What goes around comes back around”, but what lies in this obsession with nostalgia? In an age where we have the most high-tech phones with built-in cameras, why do we want our snapshots to look like they’re from times gone by?
One of those mediums in which we have channeled our longing for the past is through the popular app, Instagram. For those of you still without a phone that is ‘smart’, Instagram is a photo-editing app that provides a quick way to add various filters to your pictures. It is not only a fun and time-sucking app to download, but has been playing a significant role in marketing for businesses both small and large. A recent article in Social Media Today, suggests that “letting your community see behind the curtain shows a world beyond faces at the counter”. Michael Satterfield, owner of clothing company Morgan and Phillips, claims that the insights into behind-the-scenes aspects of an organization develops a greater relationship with the community. On a larger scale, the Barack Obama campaign detailed everything from volunteers to huge rallies. Starbucks has also been noted for their successful use of Instagram.
Urban Folk Circuit now has its very own Instagram! Follow us at @UFCChicago—we follow back.
Instagram has flawlessly helped to launch the popularization of all things vintage. Because of the enormous mainstreaming of the app, however, it has not occurred without criticism. Instagram allows anyone and everyone to do what people pay Adobe hundreds of dollars to try and do, leading many to claim it cheapens true photography. Urban Dictionary lovingly calls it “every hipster’s favorite way to make it look like they take really classy pictures when really. . . it’s still a cell phone picture.” We can apply a vignette or lens flare at the touch of a button. And beyond photographs, larger brands and department stores have capitalized off of making mass-produced items appear handmade. With a growing market for items that merely imitate a unique art, have we lost sight of the value of what comes with purchasing a handmade item?
Handmade goods inherently have a sense nostalgia. Making something by hand requires the effort that would have been needed years ago when giant sewing machines or printing presses were not available—and that makes it special. Many artists’ crafts are typically passed down from generation to generation and there is a sense of comfort in these relics of times past. Why else would your grandmother’s knitted sweater be so much cozier than the one that Macy’s sells? Photographing a DIY project through Instagram’s nostalgic lens will only enhance the sentimentality of it. Urban Folk Circuit serves to promote an “old-fashioned awareness” and the purpose of our Instagram will be to showcase the beauty of artists’ already unique items. . . That, and take hip looking pictures of desserts.
featured on "In Our Words Blog: A Salon for Queers and Co."
As the perhaps the greatest collaboration of super heroes, super geniuses, and demi-Gods the world of movies has ever seen, The Avengers came out at the top of the box office for the second week in a row. Josh Whedon’s highly anticipated hit has smashed multiple records at the box office including best all-time weekend gross—beating even Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2—and is now the film to fastest reach $100 million, $150 million, and $200 million. It looks like the power of anticipation—and advertising—with this cast of superheroes has, indeed, paid off.
The film remains action packed from the first scene, whether it’s the Avengers fighting among themselves or the Avengers fighting off a giant alien invasion. In the first scene, Loki—Thor’s half brother—comes to earth to take the Tesseract—a cosmic cube that has (obviously) the power to destroy earth and, or, control all its’ inhabitants. As protectors of their planet, Samuel L. Jackson—I mean, Nick Fury—calls “The Avengers” together. Consisting of the Hulk, Iron Man, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Captain America, and Thor, the idea was “to bring together a group of remarkable people, so that when we needed them, they could fight the battles that we never could.”
I was raised in a comfortable and loving home in a comfortable and loving neighborhood. My family ate dinners together most every night, I got to go to the zoo a fairly often, and always got home from school in time to watch “The Magic School Bus.”
We also used the words “private parts” to refer to a penis or vagina.
Since I grew up with that term, I thought it was one that everyone else used. “Private parts” was a hush-hush topic, something only my closest girlfriends and I giggled about. It was a secret, it was silly—it was concealed. It took me a long time to understand that yes, although these parts of our body are private, this is not what they are called at all.
It is usually the burden of fourth or fifth grade teachers to bestow the revered knowledge of “the birds and the bees” upon a gangly group of awkward tweens—to try to make sense of something very adult, beyond pre-calculus or Cold War history. It was during such a time in elementary school when we were on our way to music class in a single-file line. Fifth grade heartthrob Jake Benson began yelling the word “vagina!” in a silly voice so that it reverberated throughout the quiet halls. With each repetition, there was an outburst of laughter that followed from his entourage with their Hollister belts and layered collared shirts. Assuming this was something I was supposed to find funny—and wanting to appear just as cool as their crowd—I rolled my eyes and giggled right along with them. Once we were in class, Jake continued his random cries of “vagina!” until he finally got the attention he was seeking from an annoyed Ms. Clarkson:
Pausing and putting down her chalk. “Jake, that’s enough.”
Constrained laughter. “Sorry Ms. Clarkson.”
A few more minutes passed by but no one was completely settled down. Not one who is comfortable with confrontation in any form, my awkward self was sweating at this point. I was unsure if I should continue to find him humorous or would be able to successfully ignore him.
“VAGINA!!!” he screamed.
Ms. Clarkson walked right up to Jake as she icily laid down the law: “Jake, that is not an appropriate word—we do not say that in public.”
It wasn’t the first time that Jake Benson was escorted out of a classroom.
For the rest of the day, the scene he put on in music class was the talk of the fifth grade town. His disruption was soon replaced by other antics but my naïve self continued to wonder what a “vagina!” was and why it was cause for trouble.
I am unsure of the exact moment I made the connection that the word that Jake yelled was my “private part,” but when I did, my world was changed. My thought process: “ I am a female. I have a vagina.” Transgender persons would later help me learn that these things don’t always go hand-in-hand. At the time, however, I could not believe this piecing of my identity had been withheld from me for so long. How did I truly not know before that moment in my life that my “private part” is, in fact, a vagina? I don’t know how I missed it—it’s right down there! How could I not have understood the meaning of a word that is literally a part of me? I was appalled at myself. I was appalled that an annoying shit of a pubescent boy would forever be associated with my discovery of the part of my body most mysteriously and wonderfully feminine.
I lived the years thereafter trying to reconcile the fact that I only halfway knew my body. I don’t blame my parents—teaching small children the words penis or vagina along with bedtime reading doesn’t necessarily seem appropriate. But I knew there had to be something wrong with the way in which I was presented with my own self.
Fast-forward eight years, moving to Chicago from my comfortable and loving home and neighborhood—it wasn’t just tattoos that were visible on people externally. The various ethnicities, sexualities, and backgrounds I encountered were all carried with such confidence. I relished and took in each difference, and a transformation took place in the way I view what being a heterosexual woman means.
Particularly struck by the LGBTQ community, there was a bold sense of self-awareness within each individual I met. The “out loud, and proud” mentality—albeit a movement that is a product of a heteronormative society—is something that inspires me. I cannot speak for the entire community but I so admire anyone than can so comfortably wear their sexuality on their sleeve. Isn’t that what Pride is all about? I’d like to see Ms. Clarkson react to the “Viva la Vagina” posters up and down Halsted each summer during Pride fest.
Think about “coming out” as a straight person. That’s something heteronormativity has practically deemed unnecessary because it’s seen as a kind of default setting. If someone identifies as gay, bi, queer—they have had to declare their sexuality and “come out” at some point. Being heterosexual, you don’t have to declare to anyone why you’re attracted to the opposite sex. It’s a privilege—I will never have to explain to an assuming family member that just doesn’t know better about “the moment I knew I was attracted to men.” Maybe the fact that there is never a need for this verbal announcement is part of the reason that people still feel uncomfortable talking aloud about their “private parts.”
Just the other day, my mom was telling me a ridiculous story about her friend going to the gynecologist and accidentally spraying body glitter “down there” rather than the scented mist she had intended so she would smell nice. It was hilarious, it was embarrassing, we were cracking up—but I could not get her to say the word “vagina”. “Down there” made it sound like some kind of dark dungeon, once again giving way to the dangerous euphemisms that we cloak something very real in.
Pussy, cooch, twat, va-jay-jay, minge—they’re vaginas. And we need to know what to call them. Our private parts have names, and adults should have better ways of dealing with them than escorting a kid out of a giggling class. We need to eliminate the ambiguous definitions and quiet voices we use to discuss something that every human on the planet has in common. Coming from the fifth-grade girl that simply wanted to be included in a juvenile joke, I think we should make our “private parts” a little less private.
In the eight months I’ve lived since graduating college, I’ve learned a lot. I’ve enrolled in a 401(k) —(I still kind of need someone to explain to me why it’s not just an even 400?), I’ve joined a gym, and I even began using a Crock Pot. I’m streamlining into adulthood, William-Sonoma potholders in hand (they were a graduation gift), and I can’t help but wonder—is this the “real world” yet?
I’m not talking about MTV’s outdated reality TV show. I’m talking about what college students discuss in the months leading up to graduation: how different will the first steps into the “real world” be? I thought that after my commencement ceremony, adult-like tendencies would immediately kick in and I’d be interested in documentaries I’d never taken the time to watch and only buy bottles of wine more expensive than $13.99. But the real world isn’t something you step into, it’s something we’re all living in—and every day is as real as any other.
College, being such a distinct bubble of academic and social experiences that hundreds of kids experience all at once, creates an obvious separation from what society categorizes as the “real world”. By these standards, anything after higher education is known as “real world”—I’m just having trouble figuring out why.
As people get their first jobs out of school, I’ve seen countless Facebook posts along the lines of “Time to take my first step into the real world!”. A new job is exciting, of course, and I always give my friends a supportive “like” on these types of statuses, but I don’t think this makes any of their previous jobs at the school library, unpaid internship, or even the neighborhood Subway any less real.
Yes, there is a difference between a job that’s best perk offers you a share of the tip bucket at the end of the night and one that can help save for retirement, but what about those who’s “real world” is working at a bakery and nannying on the weekends so they can act? It’s a conscious choice—why should those jobs be considered any less authentic of an experience?
When I went home for the holidays, lots of family friends and neighbors were excited to hear about my life in Chicago and my job. I would always be honest: “I’m having a great time and learning a lot, but I don’t necessarily love it, ya know?” I expected them to encourage and understand that while I don’t hate my job, it’s not a place I want to be forever, and I’m looking forward to whatever comes next. Instead, the typical response was a scoff and the know-it-all refrain of “Well no one really loves their job, that’s the way it goes” or even a laugh: “Ha! Welcome to the real world!”. Even from people I felt had always encouraged my little kid dreams, I was met with condescending bitterness towards this “real world” I’m just supposed to accept.
Something tells me if I were to quit my steady job to train to be a sommelier, there would be considerable eye-rolling during my next Thanksgiving home. But something much more important tells me that it doesn’t matter. To me, a career is a series of steps you take, passions you pursue, and boundaries you explore. Whether I do something for four weeks or four years, it’s in the individual experiences I gain that it is created.
I’m a notorious people-pleaser and have trouble saying “no” but I’m sorry, dear friends of parents and neighbors, I’m saying “no” right now. I don’t accept this “real world” of an older generation. I refuse to believe that being marginally satisfied with your job is “just the way it is”. Millennials are often referred to as “yuppies” or “ the entitled generation”. We grew up with the Internet and live in a digital age. We want what we want when we want it—and I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing.
There’s a reason I have more than one friend teaching abroad, others starting their own businesses, and many still continuing their studies for what they’re passionate about. They’re going after their goals. This energy of getting what you want should not be considered naïve—it’s liberating.
It’s time to retire the “real world” and just keep living. My jump into the deep-end of adulthood wasn’t quite as dramatic as I’d anticipated (I still have the occasional urge to teepee someone’s house). But it’s shown me just how many opportunities are out there. Who’s to say I might not pack up and move to Ireland to be a barista? (Woah, secret dream job confession time). There is no set path, no one way to live a life; there is no such thing as the “real world”.
Remember John Mayer’s “No Such Thing”? Of course you do. But in case it’s not already stuck in your head, it goes: “I just found out there’s no such thing as the real world. Just a lie you’ve got to rise above”. Sorry John, I know I’m more than ten years late than you on this—but I just found out the same thing and I’m feeling pretty damn euphoric about it.
Dear thirty, flirty, and thriving Molly,
How are you? When is the last time you read Harry Potter? What’s on the radio these days? Your twenty-two-year-old self can’t stand what’s on the radio but maybe you’ve changed your mind! Never stop exploring new music. Do not, under any circumstances, allow yourself to adopt your father’s music taste and keep the same running playlist for six years. Never forget how perfect it feels to hear a song that perfectly fits the scene and situation you’re in at the exact right moment.
Do adopt, however, your father’s sense of logic and his levelheaded-ness. He’s annoying about it sometimes, sure, but it’s what has made your decisions leading up to your thirty-year-old self work. You’re not done learning from him yet. That goes for the rest of your family members. Have you taken a trip with your brothers yet? Make that happen.
If there’s one word that sums up the attitude of how you feel most every day in Chicago right now, it’s that you are antsy. You’re antsy to move, antsy to explore. While I hope you’ve learned to be more comfortable with living in the moment, remember this goal—never to stop seeking more, wanting more, both inwardly and outwardly.
I honestly don’t know what your job will look like at this point or where you’ll be living. Whatever ad gig you’re working, column you’re writing, TV series you’re producing, or country you’re traveling, I hope you took a risk to get there. I don’t care if it paid off, because either way I’m sure you learned something. And you better have written about it. (Molly, I swear, if you have yet to write about a big life event, stop reading immediately and scribble into whatever notebook you have lying around. I know you always have at least three journals on hand). Remember it’s about the experiences you have, not materials or money you have to show for it—and if you write it down, you’ll have both.
I hope you’ve learned to not waste time. You’ve been a little too easy to walk over in the past, so don’t allow yourself to spend time with people you don’t need in your life. Don’t do anything that isn’t productive for you. I hope you’ve learned how to be selfish this way.
Remember how when you went to work on a farm in another country, no one believed that you would willingly place yourself in the great outdoors with minimal running water? “Molly, you don’t even like camping, how are you going to live on a farm in the middle of nowhere?” You didn’t have an answer to that question but went anyway and spoke your best French, ate the best bread, and had the best time. I hope you’ve done something unexpected like that again. Never be afraid to surprise people, especially yourself.
Don’t forget about Sundays. It’s when you’d call mom and dad when you first moved away, when the Oscars are on, and when you’d have so many thoughts floating about for the week ahead, you never fell asleep at a reasonable hour. I hope you still take forever to get cuddled into bed comfortably and look up lyrics to sad songs as you listen to them because you know that makes you feel better (you’re so dramatic!).
Remember how cozy a hot cup of tea can make you feel and that, “in the whole scheme of life”, just like Mom always says, what you’re worrying about right now probably doesn’t matter.
Oh and Molly—if you haven’t yet, get that damn tattoo.
featured on "In Our Words: A Salon for Queers and Co."
Live! From New York—it’s Saturday night!
As of May 19th, we will never again hear Kristen Wiig yell that phrase to kickoffSaturday Night Live—besides as the guest host she will inevitably be. The thirty-eight year old actress, writer, and comedian left the cast of SNL after seven seasons on the long-running sketch show. Anyone that’s been in love knows that you always want what’s best for someone—even it if it means saying goodbye. So, I am excitedly cheering Kristen on to the next chapter in her career, but with tears in my eyes.
Wiig, who attended the University of Arizona, originally began her comedy career with a touring group called “The Groundlings”. She is 5′ 5,” born on August 22nd 1973, has blue eyes, and no—I’m not in love with her, but I do want to be her. You know those awkward ice-breaker questions like, “If you could trade places with a celebrity who would it be?” There’s hundreds of variations of them. Kristen is my go-to answer. I make her work for any of those questions. If I could have any superpower, what would it be? The ability to be as funny, as awesome and as cool as Kristen Wiig. As a slightly less widely known star (for now), using Kristen as my answer makes me seem like a hip, feminine comedy connoisseur.
My sophomore year of high school, my friends and I performed her original “Surprise Party” skit for the school talent show. Without even being able to get through one rehearsal without bursting into laughter, we performed it for a full auditorium of the worlds’ harshest critics—our teenage classmates. I have no idea why playing Sue—the character in the skit that desperately cannot keep a secret for a surprise party—sounded like a social “in” to me, but people loved the skit. I had students asking me to quote the “Oh my Godddd…” line up until graduation. That’s how I made a name for myself in high school. (The fact that my older brother before me was the popular all-star athlete might also have had something to do with it.) But the presence of a skit was demanded from us for every talent show thereafter and I was proud of what we did.
From then on, my friends and I worshipped all of Wiig’s characters. She continued to have the most quotable and hilarious sketches. Whether they be the weird facial expressions Gilly made or “Sexy Shanna’s” voice, bits of those skits worked their way into our everyday dialogue. I would often find myself quoting something in public. To anyone that hadn’t seen the skits, my random outbursts of “I’m so freakin’ excited!” were odd. But on occasion, someone would recognize the citation and I was automatically cool. Like I said, appearing as a comedy genius was all I wanted people to receive from their first impressions of me.
Another reason I love her so much is that she uses her entire body to be funny. When she’s wildly waving her legs around while getting it on with John Hamm inBridesmaids? The “Gilly” dance? I have always been tall and what my father so lovingly termed as “gangly.” I love that Wiig is not afraid to use her body and look like a complete idiot for the sake of being hysterical. When my aunt gave me The Best of Gilda Radner DVD for my birthday, I remember being so happy that I had found a woman on TV with curly hair frizzier than mine—and wasn’t a cartoon character. Her sketches with Bill Murray and big glasses were hilarious to me.
I love women in comedy because I think a lot of people are surprised when they purposely make fools of themselves. More than that, it is clear they love what they do—plus, they’re getting paid for it. SNL and the world of comedy had long been dominated by testosterone before women like Gilda, Tina, and Amy came along (need I even use their last names?). Now Kristen, having appeared in over 600 sketches, been nominated for three Emmy Awards, and written her own feature film, can proudly add her name to that list.
While I am excited to see what is next for Kristen, using her as my answer for “person I’d most like to eat lunch with” will start to no longer mean the same thing. Bridesmaidshas been labelled the “female” Anchorman—Wiig is about to get mega-big. She will no longer have the side, comedy relief roles like in Knocked Up or Adventureland. She’ll be the one everyone knows—and wants to have lunch with. While I know she couldn’t have eyes for only me forever (maybe I am in love with her…), I will be a little bit sad to know she’ll become involved in much larger, full-scale endeavors (Maybe like Tina and Amy before her, she’ll even have a baby!)
This is not some hipster lament about how she is “selling out” to Hollywood—because she’s not. Wiig is about to be the next big thing in comedy and I look forward to following the rest of her career. Coming from the once fourteen-year-old gangly girl who made a fool of herself on a high school stage attempting to be funny, I couldn’t be happier for her. More important than conveying an image, having Kristen Wiig in my life placed me amongst a community of people that also enjoyed the type of comedy and entertainment I did. So, thank you for everything, Kristen, and good luck.
P. S. I love you.