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10 Things We Learned About Body Image, Feminism, and Being an Asshole from Amy Schumer and Gabourey Sidibe


We wish we had been invited to the Gloria Awards and Gala. Not only was the bash basically a giant birthday celebration for Gloria Steinem, but Amy Schumer and Gabourey Sidibe gave killer speeches that say a lot about what it means to be a part of a new generation of feminists.

We recommend you read the full speeches — which are hilarious, heartbreaking, and intensely personal — but here’s a breakdown of the best of their sage advice:

1. Go to parties you aren’t invited to. 

“I wanted that party! And what I want trumps what 28 people want me to do, especially when what they want me to do is leave.I had a great time. I did.” – Sidibe

2. Take note of the soundtrack — because music that reminds us of our most painful moments can be a balm once the moment has passed. 

“I’m also grateful to Matt for introducing me to my love Sam Cooke, who I’m still with today.” – Schumer

3. Be your own fairy godmother.

This one is pretty self-explanatory, but  powerful nonetheless. – Schumer

4. Bad sex can be a great motivator.

In Schumer’s case, a guy falling asleep on her was the wake-up call she needed. Don’t take this as an endorsement, though. – Schumer

5. It is a battle every day to be a woman in a body in America. Fame and fortune do not alleviate this. 

“Side by side they stood, one with long beautiful hair and one with the most beautiful, round, Afro hair I had ever seen, both with their fists held high in the air. Powerful. Confident. And every day as I would leave the house… I would give that photo a fist right back. And I’d march off into battle.” – Sidibe

“I am a hot-blooded fighter and I am fearless. But I did morning radio last week, and a DJ asked, ‘Have you gained weight?'” – Schumer

6. You will not be the person your parents wanted you to be. You will be better.

“[M]y dad just didn’t understand me, and my mom, who had been a fat girl at my age herself, understood me perfectly … but she berated me because she was so afraid of what she knew was to come for me.” -Sidibe

“I am not my mother. I am myself. And I am all of you.” – Schumer

7. Who you are in elementary or high school has little impact on your adult self.

“[M]y entire class hated me.” – Sidibe

“Right before I left for college, I was running my high school…” – Schumer

8. It’s best not to care what other people think.

“You will not determine my story — I will. I will speak and share and fuck and love and I will never apologize to the frightened millions who resent that they never had it in them to do it. I stand here and I am amazing, for you. Not because of you.” – Schumer

“It’s my good time, and my good life, despite what you think of me. I live my life, because I dare. I dare to show up when everyone else might hide their faces and hide their bodies in shame.” – Sidibe

9. Humor is best served with a side of vulnerability.

“I hear my own heartbreak, I fight back my own tears, and then I notice a change in the music. Is this just a bagpipe solo? I shake him awake. “Matt, what is this? The Braveheart soundtrack?” – Schumer

“I was always sarcastic — I called it my birth defect.”- Sidibe

10. Find your audience.

“The people I love, love me. I make the funniest people in the country laugh, and they are my friends.” – Schumer

“If I hadn’t been told I was garbage, I wouldn’t have learned how to show people I’m talented.” -Sidibe

You can read the full transcripts of their speeches over at Vulture:

Gabourey Sidibe
Amy Schumer

By Melanie Broder. Follow her on Twitter @melbroder.

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