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:
By Melanie Broder. Follow her on Twitter @melbroder.