Have we seen this fantastic Hollywood Reporter cover story? or discussed it? I very much enjoyed it (I <3 Amy Schumer right now & all hail Queen Gina). The article got me thinking. About gross-out comedy, blind spots, and the Mid-Ground Tomboy movement (working title).
It’s interesting to me that lately (since Bridesmaids?) it’s like, in order to show “real” women, there has to be an element of crudity to every story. Like, guys will like girls if they know we’re just as gross as they are. It’s in Pitch Perfect 2, too. It almost feels like bodily functions are the universal equalizer. As though men will listen to what women say, if they realize we like/do the same things.
There’s a crudity in some of Amy’s jokes in the article, because that’s what she’s needed to do to get the attention her true comedy requires. It’s almost a reflex. Lena goes along because It’s HBO, and that’s the style she’s developed as well. Queen Gina dips a toe into the crudity, but that’s to keep relateable. Because she’s awesome and is going to take over the world, Oprah’s-empire-style. She’s Jon Snow, you guys. But, you know, smarter.
I’m sounding like such a prude, I’m sure. I’m not saying it’s wrong or I’m offended or any of that; I simply find it interesting that these waves of change in the industry are carrying this to the front. Because that’s a bridge I didn’t realize needed building. I mean, really? we’re all gross. We’re all crude. I’ve been cursing like a sailor since my parents told me not to when I was NINE. I didn’t realize not everyone knew this, or could be surprised by this. Is this the movement the mid-ground tomboys* are creating?
*Mid-Ground Tomboy: She’s not girly, but also not athletic. She likes boy movies with stuff that blows up or big plot twists that blindside the viewer. If she’s like me, she wears jeans everyday. Sometimes I wear them with heels. Sometimes I wear makeup; most times I don’t. I’m not a fan of rom-coms, but I liked Leap Year more than I wanted to (b/c Matthew Goode is magical, lbh).
I feel like back in the day, girls were either tomboys or girly-girls. It seems to me that now, more of us are falling in the middle of that description. As my generation settles into its place of power, I’m excited for the changes. I just didn’t realize it would involve so much gross-out humor.
Also, I had no idea that Tracee Ellis Ross’ mom is THE Diana Ross. And also I need to watch Girlfriends.
Gina & Tracee’s comments about auditions reminded me of Ming-Na Wen & Retta’s bonding moment at last year’s NerdHQ conversation. Always worth a rewatch.
I feel like by talking about these occurrences, it automatically changes things, even in the smallest of waves. HuffPo has an article about Emma Stone in Aloha about racist casting. It’s an essential call-out of a reportedly (deservedly?) terrible movie. It’s a good awareness read.
My favorite exchange from the Hollywood Reporter article:
RODRIGUEZ I don’t believe it’s an issue of hard-core racism [in Hollywood].
SCHUMER It’s ignorance.
RODRIGUEZ Lack of being surrounded by a culture.
ROSS We’re quick to vilify people instead of acknowledging we all have these huge blind spots.
TL;DR The movement of women to the forefront of comedy rides a wave of gross-out humor. Hollywood is racist via blind spots, but by talking about the ways it has affected those who’ve survived, it can be changed. Avoid Aloha.