Clinical psychologist and freelance writer interested in how the arts influence psychology. Visit my blogs at www.popcornpsych.com & www.omnipsych.com.
Published August 30th 2015
Amy Schumer in Trainwreck
Amy Schumer wields irony, obscenity and absurdity like a broad stroke paintbrush slapping shocking neon colors everywhere but on the canvas. This is a woman who is all about what is outside the lines. With unflinching audaciousness, she bares herself defiantly and unreservedly for a noble purpose.
Underlying the crude jokes, potty mouth, and the base humor that has led to her being pigeonholed by some as "sex comic", is a statement about equality. And she's not subtle about it; at her recent Melbourne show, her message came out loud and clear, "We are all the same," "No one is better than anybody else."
In a time when developed and 'evolved' societies are still struggling with civil rights, when religions are violently vying for prominence, when the socioeconomic gap between the wealthy and everyone else becomes greater, and when even secular societies, like Australia, lag behind on marriage rights for gays, inequality is endemic. Self-help gurus and mindfulness experts provide guidance, directing us to be more aware and accepting of our internal and external experiences as a pathway to greater understanding and acceptance of each other–and Amy Schumer is the unlikely poster child for the cause. Her central message—"We are all just as disgusting as each other."
Ultimately, her message of equality has a feminist agenda. On her show, Inside Amy Schumer, and on stage, through satiric mockery, she rails against the objectification and the oversexualization of women, by society, by men, and by women themselves. Amy Schumer grapples with the issue of equality at its basest level, exploiting her deepest insecurities, her warped values, her awkward sexual experiences, even her human excretions; and as we laugh at her "grossness," she's worked out how to make us reveal ours. By exposing herself, she exposes all of us.