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Subject Matters Discussed in Bossypants

Tina Fey is one of the most well-known female comedians in all of comedy history. She

has starred in and written for many hit movies and T.V. shows such as Saturday Night Live,

Mean Girls, and 30 Rock. As well as writing for those productions, she has also written an

autobiography. In said autobiography which is called, Bossypants, Fey describes her life from

when she was a child to growing up as the comedian and actress society knows today.

Throughout the book, there are three main topics that are discussed. These topics include

self-confidence/accepting yourself, hollywood beauty standards, and growing up. Although these

topics are discussed by themselves, Fey also intertwines these topics together, which ultimately

creates a better understanding of the topics overall. She also goes into great depth when

discussing these topics, and creates analogies that help her connect with the reader. In

Bossypants, Fey expresses that the course of growing up allows individuals to gain

self-confidence in themselves, allowing them to accept themselves in societys beauty-standards.

While growing up, Fey has experienced societys ideas of beauty standards from a young

age. For instance, when she explains to readers, This was how I found out that there are an

infinite number of things that can be incorrect on a womans body (Fey, pg. 20). In the

beginning of the book, Bossypants, Tina Fey grows up with a memorable childhood that included

the struggles of being a woman. She had troubles learning to accept who she was a person and

how she looked like, especially with her childhood incident of getting that scar. She often

compared the difference in the attractive features of woman celebrities, which influenced

societys growing list of beauty standards. From the very beginning of the book, Fey lists the

things that can be incorrect on a womans body and the features that are seen as acceptable
or attractive in society. While expressing her disagreements on these beauty standards, she

also expressed some concerns about people in the Hollywood business not paying attention to

her. She was never invited to be an actress on shows, until she lost weight. This proves how

much beauty standards affect the world and in particular, Feys job. Even in the midst of her

insecurities, Fey learned to love and accept herself, in which she expresses her feelings, I would

not trade any of these features for anybody elses. I wouldnt trade the small thin-lipped mouth

that makes me resemble my nephew. I wouldnt even trade the acne scar on my right cheek,

because that recurring zit spent more time with me in college than any boy ever did (Fey, pg.

25). By revealing this, Fey not only accepted herself with confidence, but she also encouraged

readers to feel that way too. In conclusion, by growing up, experiencing beauty standards, it gave

Fey a chance to confidently love herself.

When Tina had a daughter she wanted to teach her how to be positive with herself both

physically and mentally. She wanted her daughter to have self-confidence and to think that

everyone is equal and no one is better than one another, for any reason. When Fey is discussing

how she doesn't want her daughter to think someone is better than her she says, When I read

fairy tales to my daughter I always change the word blond to yellow, because I dont want her

to think that blond hair is somehow better (Fey, pg. 21). This shows that Fey doesnt want her

daughter thinking that someone is better than her because of something silly as a hair color and

she wants her to be self-confident. Later Fey talks about how she is different from most women

because she is ok with her flaws and doesnt try to hide them. She says, If I ever go back to that

beach in Wildwood, I want my daughter to be able to find me in the crowd by spotting my

soda-case hips. I want her to be able to pick me out of a sea of highlighted-blond women with
fake tans because Im the one with the thick ponytail and the greenish undertones in my skin

(Fey, pg. 25). This shows that Tina is okay with the fact that she is different from some women

because but that is not a bad thing and that it can be used to her advantage. To sum it up, by

passing on the knowledge Fey received from her experiences, she teaches her daughter to be

confident in her physical and mental appearance.

Primarily, in Bossypants, Fey discusses her journey on gaining self-confidence despite all

the negativity regarding her profession, one that is mainly dominated by men. For instance, while

starting out in the theatre-training program, Second City, Fey comes across gender prejudice

when she is not given authorization to have a gender equal cast of three men and three women,

she recalls this account as, You cant do that. There wont be enough parts to go around. There

wont be enough for the girls. This made no sense to me, probably because I speak English and

have never had a head injury. We werent doing Death of a Salesman. We were making up the

show ourselves. How could there not be enough parts? Where was the Yes, and? If everyone

had something to contribute, there would be enough. The insulting implication, of course, was

that the women wouldnt have any ideas (Fey, pg. 87). This demonstrates how problematic it

must have been for Fey to have a big break in the show industry due to her gender. In former

years, the number of women involved in show business was highly improbable. To society,

women were not seen as the creative type as opposed to men. As a result, the entertainment

industry has been predominated by men for many years. For that reason, one can simply

understand the levels of stress put on Fey to become successful in her occupation. Despite this,

Fey uses the knowledge she had gained from experiences similar to this to then influence other

women in their own lives. For example, when giving advice to women on how they can manage
working in a male-dominated field or even taking the role of the boss, she says, When faced

with sexism or ageism or lookism or even really aggressive Buddhism, ask yourself the

following question: Is this person in between me and what I want to do? If the answer is no,

ignore it and move on. Your energy is better used doing your work and outpacing people that

way (Fey, pgs. 144-145). Feys words of wisdom show how much she had grown as a person,

both mentally and physically. She now understands that in order to thrive, she must keep on

pushing and pushing, and until she reaches what she had intended to do in the first place. She

cannot let others bring her down owing to the fact that she is a female, but she must stand

confidently in her place. Seeing this, Fey recommends that for women, who also want to be

successful in the industry like herself, they should focus on their own selves individually and just

let all their hard work take its course on the road to achievement.

All in all, Bossypants has influenced many readers to open their minds to feminism and

self-confidence. Although the autobiography focuses on many different topics, there are three

main topics.The first topic the book starts with is growing up, where Fey shows personal

experience to relate to the reader's life. Another is Hollywood beauty standards, in which Fey

talks about how you shouldnt follow these rules and you should accept yourself for who you

are. The final topic is gaining self-confidence in yourself and your appearance. Fey goes more in

depth as she explains how you can and should treat yourself. The autobiography of Tina Feys

Bossypants talks about many important topics for men and women around the world, which

allows them to connect to this book.