The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer

Amy Schumer is certainly not for everyone – she’s loud, completely inappropriate, unreserved, unabashedly herself, and completely fabulous if you ask me!  I can’t believe I hadn’t yet read her book and unlike most autobiographies where I’d say something like “It really felt like I was just having a casual chat with so-and-so,” I had to continue to remind myself who wrote this book – it was poignant, insightful, definitely hilarious, but it was so much more tame than Amy is in her stand-up routines.  She was vulnerable, honest to a fault, and I took so much more away from this book than I expected to.

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“Sitting and writing and talking to no one is how I wish I could spend the better part of every day.”

Amy is the master of crass jokes, but in her book she really levels with her readers and gets real.  While she loves stand-up comedy and has wanted to be in show business since she can remember, she’s the perfect definition of an introvert, and it’s exhausting for her to spend her day surrounded by people, having to be “on” all the time.  I’m an extrovert, but that resonated with me and reminded me that even though we may think we “know” a celebrity, we really have no idea what their day-to-day life is like.  

“Women are always expected to be the gracious hostess, quick with an anecdote and a sprinkling of laughter at others’ stories.  We are always the ones who have to smooth over all the awkward moments in life with soul-crushing pleasantries.  We are basically unpaid geishas.”

Much of this story is a discussion about womanhood: what it means, how we get there, and what it feels like when the media is calling a tall, curvaceous, beautiful blonde woman “fat.”  What Amy quips about being an unpaid geshia initially made me laugh, but then I thought to myself, “she’s so right!”  Women are under so much pressure to be perfectly-coifed, well-mannered, thin, beautiful, and smart – how can anyone find that much time in a day?! Parts of this book could be from a self-help book on how not to care what other people think of you – and I think that’s grand.

“I look at the saddest things in life and laugh at how awful they are, because they are hilarious and it’s all we can do with moments that are painful.”

There are so many nuggets from this book that I want to share; parts of her story made me laugh, think, cry, feel angry… it really covers all the bases.  Two particularly brave parts of Amy’s story are a past relationship that was abusive and toxic, as well as her dad’s descent into multiple sclerosis which will just break your heart.  You’d have no idea from her funny demeanor, seemingly outright self-confidence, and humor that she was physically and emotionally abused by a boyfriend when she was younger, but I like to think that contributed to her fire and drive that’s gotten her to where she is today.  The way Amy loves her dad, despite his many faults, is heartwarming, and her patience and kindness when it comes to his disease are admirable.

“I wear my mistakes like badges of honor, and I celebrate them. They make me human.”

Even if Amy’s stand-up routines are not your style, I think you’d find this book insightful, humorous, and something like a how-to for confident women.  Grab your copy here  – you just might learn something about life, tragedy, love, and humor.

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