• Sat, May 18 2013

In Honor Of Her Birthday, Here Are A Few Extremely Specific Reasons I Like Tina Fey,

tina fey admission premiere 3.5.2013Tina Fey is awesome. I think everyone generally accepts that as fact. People just like her. (If you don’t, leave now. There is some pretty heavy Tina Fey praise coming up.) She’s an amazing writer. She’s hilarious. Her book, Bossypants, was fantastic. 30 Rock is one of the best shows ever. She was the first female head writer of Saturday Night Live. I mean, it’s ridiculous. In 10th grade I had a project where we had to make a slideshow of how we wanted our lives to be when we were older– Powerpoint was really big at the time, I guess. I have no other explanation for how this was an appropriate assignment for an English class– and I pasted a picture of my face over Tina Fey’s head in a photo of her hosting Weekend Update with Jimmy Fallon. Basically, I wanted her exact job.

Tina’s definitely an idol of mine and today is her 43rd birthday so I’ve decided to write about her. Sure, I could do something simple like make a list of her 10 best SNL sketches or fill this page with 30 Rock GIFs and no writing– GIFs hold some sort of hypnotic power over people that the world will never understand– but I’m not going to do that. I’ve decided to talk about some stuff that’s a little bit different. Some deep cuts if you will. (By the way did you know Tina Fey got a deep cut on her face by some random dude as a child and still has the scar to this day? True story.) So with no further ado, here’s four extremely specific reasons I like Tina Fey.

She’s Recognizable With And Without Glasses

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Tina Fey wears glasses a lot. Tina Fey also doesn’t wear glasses a lot. We are able to recognize her in both instances. How is this possible? Magic? A strict schedule of how often to be bespectacled versus not? I don’t have the answers. All I know is that as someone who has one bad eye, one eye that’s 20/20, and is supposed to wear one contact, but can’t from fear of putting things in my eye, Tina Fey’s use of glasses and no glasses is very inspiring. I could get glasses, stop getting occasional headaches, and wear them most of the time — but still be able to take them off when I want! People like to attribute a sexy librarian thing to Tina, but for me this isn’t the draw. It’s not about having your geekery fetishized, it’s about being able to transition seamlessly between normal, everyday glasses wearing to feeling a little more dressed up and sexy when necessary without no glasses. (Not that glasses can’t also be sexy. Please don’t yell at me!)

She Went To The University Of Virginia

I am from Virginia and while I did not attend the University of Virginia, I had friends from high school who did. So I visited them on weekends pretty often. It’s insanely fratty (which is fun to make fun of), extremely preppy (also fun to make fun of), and they have a lot of parties (at which you can make fun of aforementioned preppy fratty people). Tina went to UVA so she gets it and she talks about it in her book:

“What nineteen-year-old Virginia boy doesn’t want a wide-hipped, sarcastic Greek girl with short hair that’s permed on top? What’s that you say? None of them want that? You are correct.”

Those people are straight laced. If you aren’t wearing Ray Bans, a button up shirt, and Sperry Topsiders, (this goes for boys and girls) you might as well be from another planet. They aren’t mean (or racists or any other bad things you might be deducing from this), things just tend to be a bit one-dimensional there. It was cool to hear someone else share the same outsider thoughts.

She Has Naturally Thick Eyebrows & Isn’t Afraid To Talk About Them

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“Instead of trying to fit an impossible ideal, I took a personal inventory of all my healthy body parts for which I am grateful: Straight Greek eyebrows. They start at the hairline at my temple and, left unchecked, will grow straight across my face and onto yours.”

I have some pretty straight eyebrows. Always have. So this eyebrow quote really spoke to me. In elementary school a kid once made fun of my eyebrows’ straightness. But this is not sob story hour, this is get empowered by Tina Fey’s awesomeness hour! To all you bullies out there making fun kids with thick eyebrows, I hope you know all you’re doing is either making them A) get into fashion where an assysnine-sounding statement like “A full eyebrow is so in right now” is taken seriously OR B) giving them lots of fodder for their comedy or memoir writing careers. Take that bullies!

The Way She Writes About Womenly Issues

I was going to say the way she talks about feminism, but it’s not exactly feminism that I’m trying to get at. I just mean talking about women’s issues, I suppose, but you can call it what you want. Periods, for example. They aren’t feminist, they’re just something that happens to us ladies. There’s a great quote in Bossypants about them that goes a little something exactly like this:

“I was ten. I had noticed something was weird earlier in the day, but I knew from commercials that one’s menstrual period was a blue liquid that you poured like laundry detergent onto maxi pads to test their absorbency. This wasn’t blue, so…I ignored it for a few hours.”

Here’s another:

“I experienced car creepery at thirteen… I was walking home alone from school and I was wearing a dress. A dude drove by and yelled, “Nice tits.” Embarrassed and enraged, I screamed after him, “Suck my dick.” Sure, it didn’t make any sense, but at least I don’t hold in my anger.”

They’re both just some very true, very funny, very well put statements on weirdness and messed-up-ness that happens when you’re a girl. Does it make me ponder if our society is too ridiculous is when it comes to periods? Yes. Does it make me feel better hearing about other people that have experienced car creepery and do I now want to yell “suck my dick” to creeps? Yes and yes.

Thanks Tina! Happy birthday!

(Photo: C. Smith/WENN.com)

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  • Jill O’Rourke

    This reminds me that I really need to re-read Bossypants. It’s the best.