Why Is A Nutritionist Talking About Amy Schumer?

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.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_widget_sidebar sidebar_id=”Blog Sidebar”][vc_widget_sidebar sidebar_id=”sidearea”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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36 Comments

  1. Violet

    Yes! Great article! Excited to see this film!

    Reply
  2. linda vorzimer

    Right ON Jonny! I was going to go see it anyway- damn the critics, who are probably mostly men anyway, and don’t “get” it either. I am sending this to all my friends- Thanks!! Linda

    Reply
  3. Lisa

    You want to know my thoughts on your thoughts !!!!!! I LOVE YOU…..:). these are the most honest , true , real, needed , freeing , words ever !!!!! Thank you for using your VOICE ….. to spank this messed up world !!!!! Hopefully this will help others see the true beauty that lies within us all .

    Reply
  4. Christia Sale

    Excellent article Jonny. It points out how we’ve let “media” tell us what to think. Things are going to the extreme, whether it’s how thin we think is acceptable, how pretty we need to be, and ultimately how numb we are becoming with what is truly normal. Our brains are suffering from what our bodies aren’t eating. At some point we are going to have to hit the reset button.

    Reply
  5. Mary

    I LOVE this. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Reply
  6. Ann

    Great article and wonderful, common sense insights. My daughter in law mentioned wanting to see this movie. I’d never heard of it but it definitely sounds like one to see. Thank you for sharing such down to earth, real life thoughts. The world needs to hear this!

    Reply
  7. Linda Hachfeld

    Thank you for a wonderful commentary! I couldn’t agree with you more; normal weight is a range and is individual. Let’s STOP judging one another and ACCEPT that we come in different sizes…and that’s ALL OK.

    Reply
  8. Nancy Schuring

    You MAY get criticism, but I would bet you have a LOT more followers thinking, “Awwe, Dr. Jonny, you are adorable!” That’s why I follow you, you’ve always made sense to me. Thanks for the encouragement and the shoutout.
    All The Best,

    N. Schuring

    Reply
  9. Wes

    Yes. Yes. And yes.

    Reply
  10. Leslie Bauer

    You you Jonny! I agree 100%; been a real woman all my life and have no self esteem issues because of it. After all, on a desert island, the skinny bitches will be the first to go…

    Reply
  11. Ann Mehrman

    Good for you! Thanks for supporting positive self esteem messages!

    Reply
  12. Amy

    Nice post but what’s with the bad language?

    Reply
  13. Patricia

    So on point! This message is one I am bringing out to the world as well! Thanks for leading the way!

    Reply
  14. donna

    I love the way you wrote this piece……
    so very true and bless this world
    should we change the way we think!!!
    bless you for writing this
    thx

    Reply
  15. Shanti

    She is fat, though.

    Reply
  16. Catla

    I felt validated enough by your words to cry! Thank you!

    Reply
  17. Susanne

    Hey Jonny

    I knew you must have had something important to say because I haven’t an email from you in a while. Thank You, Jonny!!! Thank You for taking the time to write this email. Yes, we, as a society, do need to re-evaluate what we deem as beautiful and sexy. I know from growing up with an anorexic point of view, going through massive radiation to all of my head, neck and chest thirty years ago for a stage IV tumor in my head which comes down to having no thyroid and a whole lot more and just having turned 50….I’ve been having a hard time looking in the mirror because I’m 10 – 15 lbs over what I weighed in high school. I look at myself and think I must look like 2 ton Tessy, which is not the case at 120 lbs. So I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I definitely will now! Thank You, Again!!!!

    Reply
  18. Elaine Wickstrom

    Jonny, if I could spend a consequence-free night with a mature badass cutie with a head on his shoulders and energy to burn —it’d be YOU. !!

    Thank you *so much* for this well/needed posting. I think Amy looks as luscious as a peach 🍑, and we need to teach each other: this is what gorgeous looks like.
    Preach it, Bro. Jonny !

    Reply
  19. Jan

    Right on!
    It’s about time what a beautiful woman looks like!

    Reply
  20. Elizabeth

    That was great Jonny
    I appreciate your honesty and as usual you are right on the money

    Reply
  21. John Birmingham

    I agree—what’s with the foul language? Why do you have to resort to vulgarity to get your message across? I consider that totally unprofessional. Please delete my email address. You’ve just lost a customer.

    Reply
  22. Sandra

    I feel exactly the same way about this movie!!!

    Reply
  23. MJ

    Finally! Thank you Jonny! I’ve been reading your blog for years and this is EXACTLY what my husband says. He wants a real woman.

    Reply
  24. Michelle

    Amen. I LOVE everything you touched on in this post…would love to hear more like this!

    Reply
  25. Suzanne

    I also think Amy is beautiful. We all need a reality check. If you are healthy and have a few curves you fine.
    I I applaud you for writing this.

    Reply
  26. Catie

    Thank you Jonny for posting this very important message. I appreciate your candor and the humor you used to share your message. I’m sure Amy S. would approve!

    Reply
  27. Janeen Kammerer

    I am loudly applauding you, Dr. Jonny. I have been a fan for many reasons but your comments on Amy Schumer underscore what I most admire – you say exactly what you think in a manner that reminds one that we have purpose and worth beyond our waist sizes. Thank you!

    Reply
  28. Tamar

    I applaud you for taking a strong stand on this issue especially in a health focused community where even a small amount of fat is seen as something to fast away and do a keto diet to remove! This email did a lot to improve the self-esteem of many girls and women who are not fat but feel that way because of the messages and images they see in the media. Thank you!!

    Reply
  29. Yaakov Levine

    Nailed it, thanks Jonny!

    Reply
  30. Kimberly

    Hi Jonny,

    Thank you so much for this post. As soon as the movie opened I wanted to take my 11-year-old daughter who is starting to believe that she is “fat” (she isn’t). I was worried however that the content of the film might not be appropriate for a child. Thanks for recommending that all girls 8 or over should see it – we will go this weekend!

    Cheers

    Kim

    Reply
  31. Karen

    I’d like to share a relvant post that speaks to this from a different perspective. Here’s the link: https://danceswithfat.wordpress.com/2018/04/16/i-dont-have-to-be-delusional-to-feel-pretty/

    I Don’t Have To Be Delusional To Feel Pretty

    It’s gotten to the point that I can’t avoid the trailer and advertisements for Amy Schumer’s new vehicle I Feel Pretty, so that means it’s time to write about it.

    The premise is that a fat woman who can’t find clothes in her size, can’t get a bartender to serve her a drink, and frightens children with her visage alone, hits her head and suddenly sees herself as beautiful and capable. This newfound confidence leads to everything from entering a bikini contest to a love interest who seems to fall for her because of her newfound confidence.First, let’s talk about the way that Amy Schumer keeps trying to sell us this narrative that she is fat (and ugly, which she seems to think mistakenly are the same thing).
    I’ll start by looking at her own words when she was included in Glamour’s plus-size issue’s “Women Who Inspire Us” feature.

    “I think there’s nothing wrong with being plus size. Beautiful healthy women. Plus size is considered size 16 in America. I go between a size 6 and an 8. @glamourmag put me in their plus size only issue without asking or letting me know and it doesn’t feel right to me. Young girls seeing my body type thinking that is plus size? What are your thoughts? Mine are not cool glamour not glamourous.”

    Setting aside the fact that there is nothing wrong with being fat regardless of health or perceived attractiveness, I think it’s pretty hard to believe Amy believes there’s “nothing wrong with being plus size” when she is so desperate to make sure that people know she isn’t. She thinks it’s a problem that young girls might think she is, and she claims it’s “not cool” and “not glamorous” that someone would suggest she is plus size. It makes me wonder how she would act if she did think there was something wrong with it?

    I think it’s pretty apparent that Amy believes there’s something wrong with being plus size, but even if you disagree with that, she’s made it very clear that she doesn’t think she is plus sized — including shouting her dress size from the rafters. But suddenly, for this film, we’re all supposed to believe that she shares the plight of the plus size woman? What was the last store you were in that didn’t sell clothes in size six or eight? Even if we assume that she’s a size 12, which is what others seem to speculate, she’s still firmly in the realm of straight sizes, as she took the time to point out on Instagram.

    To be clear, Amy is larger than the Hollywood ideal, and that has affected her career, and that’s bullshit. But the undeniable truth is that she’s relatively thin, as well as white, blonde, traditionally “pretty,” currently able-bodied, cisgender, heterosexual, and thus fulfilling most of the beauty stereotypes. Sure, she’s not a size zero, but that doesn’t make it okay for her to slip the identity of fatness on and off like a fatsuit in a way that suits her career goals.

    But even if we pretend that Amy could pass for “fat” and/or “ugly” by some definition, we’re still left with a hot mess of fatphobic bullshit.

    This entire movie is built on tropes that reinforce fatphobia, regardless of the intent. The “comedy” of this movie is based on the idea that it’s hilarious that a fat woman would have confidence…

    Reply
  32. Karen

    Ooops, I failed leave the name of the person who wrote the blog I suibmitted earlier today in the comments. It is by Ragen Chastain who writes the “Dances with Fat” blog. I’ve learned a ton from her that I think will make sense to you. Thanks much!

    Reply
  33. William Richard Nicholson FB

    Jonny , I disagree based on seeing what most of these women eat..They are quite appreciably heavier than women in 1960’s and 70’s as diets started to deteriorate & what they eat has continued to keep them both heavy & sicker than past generations . This readjustment to accepting obesity as normal is not the way to help them get into shape. Physically, mentally or spiritually ! I think you really need to reconsider whether you are doing the best you can , to help these Obese women.!

    Reply
  34. Theresa McPherson

    Great blog. Where were yiu when I was in high school?

    Reply
  35. Karen

    Great Blog. thanks for telling it like it is!

    Reply
  36. Laura

    Society, in general, is so superficial. It’s whats in your heart that counts. Good for you to say the truth.

    Reply

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