This column is about the new Amy Schumer movie, I Feel Pretty.
You’re probably wondering, why is a nutritionist is writing about the Amy Schumer movie?
Well, for the same reason I wrote about Kate going to fat camp in This is Us. Which is that it touches on issues that every nutritionist deals with on a daily basis.
Look, I’m fully aware that anyone reading me wants to hear what I have to say about nutrition and health, not politics and media. But I’m also aware that nutrition is only part of the puzzle. Every aspect of human health—including our weight— is built on a number of different pillars of which nutrition is only one. These pillars include digestion, detoxification, sleep, plays-well-with-others, recreation, stress, exercise, relationships. Every one of them matters.
So in the spirit of “everything is connected”, let me explain why I’m writing about the Amy Schumer movie. Three reasons.
Number one: It’s about self-esteem.
I started as a trainer on the floor of the first Equinox gym ever built, in Manhattan 27 years ago, and over the years I saw hundreds of clients in my seven years as a personal trainer, and hundreds more afterwards as a nutritionist. Through my articles and website and at live events I’ve communicated with thousands. The majority of my clients have been women. A very large number of them have had self-esteem issues. A very large number of, let’s see, everyone has self-esteem issues. And there’s no way to underestimate how important self-esteem is in your health and well-being.
This movie is about self-esteem, It’s also about body image, something every trainer and nutritionist in America deals with multiple times on a daily basis.
Number two: Amy Schumer.
I’m about to talk about a person’s appearance, and I’m sorry if we’re not supposed to say this stuff anymore because it’s not politically correct, but I’m going to say it anyway: Amy Schumer is not fat.
Now the whole question of whether you can be “fat” and sexy and confident and healthy is totally worthy of discussion (the answer’s ‘yes, duh!’), but it’s not the point right now. The point is that if we all collectively acquiesce to the preposterous idea that this beautiful healthy girl with a few curves is “fat”, man we are going down the wrong road.
Surprisingly, even a few of my closest women friends have told me, “well you know she has gained a lot of weight” in a whispered tone once used for statements like “you know, Aunt Mary has cancer”. I look at them like they’re off their rockers. I have many beautiful, sexy women friends in their forties who literally announce to me how fat they are every time I see them. I want to scream. YOU’RE NOT FAT, YOU’RE CRAZY. Stop buying into this shit! If Amy Schumer is your idea of a “fat girl”, you need a serious reality check. Please, people, don’t normalize this. Beauty doesn’t come in one size only.
Amy Schumer’s not only not fat, she’s also really good looking. There’s a scene in a bathroom where Amy’s character is talking to a girl who just oozes Maxim Magazine, and is supposed to represent what guys, god helps us, supposedly think of as perfection, with her “perfect” little body in the tight little dress with her “perfect” little face, and “fat” Amy is gushing over how incredible it must be to be so perfect. Meanwhile I’m thinking that if I were single, and a genie jumped out of a bottle and gave me a fantasy choice of spending a consequence-free night with either one of them, I’d be outta there with Amy so fast the wind from the door slamming would knock the little 90 pound glam queen right off her seat.
And if you’re thinking of sending me hate mail because you think I love “fat” women, don’t bother. I don’t love or not love “fat women”—what I like is real women.
Number three: The message
I know that critics think this movie is sappy and preachy. I have two words for them and the first one I won’t say on my blog but it rhymes with a bird that quacks. And the second is “you”. This movie has a very important message and it delivers it in a beautiful and entertaining and meaningful way. The morning after Michelle and I saw it I was texting with every woman I know who has a girl child and urging them to get out and see this movie and to take their kids with them.
I urge you to do the same. I hope every girl over the age of eight sees this movie.
And guys of all ages, this might be a really good time to start re-evaluating what it means to be “beautiful” and “sexy”. Just sayin.