I recently had the pleasure of reading Bossypants by the brilliantly witty Tina Fey. If you’re looking for a quick and entertaining read about the life of one of today’s most influential comics/writers filled with funny anecdotes and stories of a gawky teen then this is the book for you. I read in one day and couldn’t put it down, finding myself frequently quoting passages to my wife as I giggled uncontrollably.
I’ve been a fan of Tina Fey since she broke the gender barrier on Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update, a position previously only held by male comedians/writers on the show. Seeing her at the helm of the Weekend Update desk made me stand up and take notice. I knew she had been part of the writing team for quite some time, a feat not met by many women before her, and she quickly became somewhat of an idol for me. The book, Bossypants came out in 2011 and I’ve wanted to read it ever since. Since getting my new Kobo this past Christmas, I finally made that dream a reality.
Fey shares some intimate and hilarious stories from her years working for The Peacock (NBC), stories about conquering struggles in a male dominated industry- comedy as well as some personal moments from her life growing up as an awkward bushy browed Greek girl with big glasses, classic 80’s wardrobe and “a perm on the top of her hair”.
Some of my favorite passages in the book are where Tina gives meaningful advice to the reader. There is advice for everyone. I will include a few just for a sample.
Tina on the contribution of the likes of Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce to the feminine ideal: What attributes women are expected to have now:
“Caucasian blue eyes
Full Spanish lips
A classic button nose
Asian skin with a California tan
A Jamaican dance hall ass
Long Swedish legs
Small Japanese feet
The abs of a lesbian gym owner
The hips of a nine-year-old boy
The arms of Michelle Obama
And doll tits”
Tina on New York: “New York is that chunk of garlic that you bite in to thinking its potato and you can’t get the taste out of your mouth all day. It blends once you mix it but sometimes you really have to grind it against the side.”
On Beauty: “If you retain nothing else, always remember the most important rule of beauty, ‘who Cares’.”
On aging: “At some point, your body wants to be disgusting. While your teens and twenties were about emphasizing your best features, your late thirties, early forties are about fighting back decay. You pluck your patchy beard daily. And other age related grosseries…”
On being a good co worker: “Be a considerate co worker. Cover the phones for someone so they can pee. Punch someone’s time card for them so they can stop and buy a birthday card. Help people with their register when it doesn’t add up, and lastly, don’t be a tattletale”
She also draws us a picture of the blatant imbalances in Hollywood, in particular, the comedy genre. Women have to work extra hard as if to prove themselves in a genre where all the big names are men. The fact that she has enjoyed so much success proves to us as fans, she’s one of the hardest working women in TV who deserves not only the respect from all us nerdy funny girls, but our applause. Thank you Tina Fey for the laughs, the inspiration and for serving as role model for all us sarcastic, bi curious show wearing, dark rimmed glasses sporting, clumsy, pigeon toed girls clawing their way through the depths of comedy writing. We look forward to following your work for a very, very long time. I thoroughly enjoyed this book from front to cover and I highly recommend it. Pick it up today! http://www.amazon.ca/Bossypants-Tina-Fey/dp/0316056871 (on Amazon).
Live Humbly, Be Charitable, and Share a Laugh,