It is rare that I feel like sitting down and actually writing about a real life person, but every so often, someone just deserves to be acknowledged as an individual–not their characters, or their movies, or their songs, but sometimes people need to be acknowledged for who they are. Real life talkin’.
Today is Amy Poehler‘s birthday, and I am so happy that I have a column called “Everything I Need to Know, I Learned From” because Poehler has taught me pretty much everything I need to know about being a radical female attempting to break into the comedy world, and hopefully she has taught a lot of other
girls people a lot about themselves, as well. So, with no further ado, happy freakin’ birthday, queen of the world.
EINTKILF Amy Poehler
1. What men think of you does not matter.
When asked what the craziest thing she ever did to get a guy to notice her, perfect Poehler responded, “I had no idea how to get guys to notice me. I still don’t. Who cares?”
I cannot reiterate this point enough, and my favorite thing about talking to younger girls–and let’s be real, even women my own age–is the fact that I come from an extremely privileged position of not caring what boys/men/anyone thinks of me. Now don’t get me wrong, I definitely have issues with men and relationships, but it never stems from the initial “how do I get him to notice me” issue. I always get noticed, and I always have, even when I was overweight and had huge frizzy hair and I wore Harry Potter track jackets to class and didn’t get invited to parties. It is confidence, and love for oneself that gets a person “noticed.” It is not caring if people notice you that gets you noticed.
Amy’s got it. Who cares?
And that being said…
2. “…if boys say something that’s not funny, you don’t have to laugh.”
My entire life, I have been irritated at girls that laugh to flirt with boys. Okay, there is a huge difference between genuine laughter and fake giggling like a schoolgirl to get a boy to like you. I am of the belief that there is absolutely no reason for a girl to fake anything with a boy. You laugh at something that isn’t funny, something that is likely offensive and dumb, and what are you gaining from it? He does not like you any more or less than he did before you laughed at his dumb joke, he just thinks he is funny when he potentially isn’t. No one is learning a lesson from this moment!
Now, don’t get me wrong. I (cliché cliché cliché) love a funny dude, but I love when anyone can make me laugh. I love when someone can make me mad and then immediately fix it by cracking me up. Like my big brother, or the last three people I was involved with.
Ladies, don’t fake it. Do not fake anything!
3. “No one looks stupid when they’re having fun.”
My favorite quote, my favorite lesson.
I am pretty much always the person to start a dance party, even in a dance club. Even in a dance club in Las Vegas’ swankiest (and dumbest, IMHO) hotel because why the hell not? Having fun is fun, not embarrassing. I don’t think I need to tell you guys that I am not the wallflower type, but even beyond that, I think it is important to have a great time doing whatever you feel like doing. Karaoke? It is not all that scary. Dancing like an idiot? It is not even not scary, it is really, really fun. Just let loose and have a good time. People will love you more for it.
4. “There’s power in looking silly and not caring that you do.”
Pretty much see above.
5. “Vulnerable people are powerful people.”
In case you don’t know about “Ask Amy” (and you are ridiculous if you don’t!), Poehler has these wonderful little Q&As that are full of great advice and confidence building wonder.
And in my favorite (cliché cliché cliché) segment called “Love,” Poehler breaks down why being in love is so scary, so hard, and best of all, so important. I think everyone should heed her advice on that one.
Watch it now, men I’ve tried to date.
6. Have a best friend.
Probably my most favorite thing about Poehler is the way in which other people love her. You can tell by the people she surrounds herself with that she is just as great as we all assume she is.
“I was so happy. Weirdly, I remember thinking, ‘My friend is here! My friend is here!’ Even though things had been going great for me at the show, with Amy there, I felt less alone.” Tina Fey
“I would go gay for her. It doesn’t seem fair that I get to work with her. I love her unconditionally.” Rashida Jones
“In February 2011, you asked me to invest $15,000 in a “real estate” opportunity you had heard about. Since then, I have heard nothing from you, and my research shows that the company, Excalibur Equity, does not even exist. I want my money back. Now. That said, I cannot say how much I admire and respect Amy Poehler.” Aziz Ansari
How can you not believe them? Having good friends is the key to success.
7. “Limit your always and your nevers.”
Never say never, like Justin Bieber, and Jackie from Stepmom always say. (Jackie also says not to say “always” unless you say it twice.)
8. “Anybody who doesn’t make you feel good, kick them to the curb.”
Or like I always say, “Jerks are for jerks.”
9. Being bossy is not an insult.
“I just love bossy women. I could be around them all day. To me, bossy is not a pejorative term at all. It means somebody’s passionate and engaged and ambitious and doesn’t mind leading.” Poehler
I have been called bossy by my brothers, my cousins, my former baristas, my exes, my best girlfriends, and I’m always like…is that supposed to hurt my feelings?
10. “Don’t worry about finding love.”
It is a simple statement, but it cannot be reiterated enough. It’s like when The Supremes sang, “you can’t hurry love,” and then Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks also sang that too because it is really true, you guys! Never search love out, never stress about not finding love. If it is meant to be, it will be.
I think I pretty much just quoted a bunch of songs there, but man, I tell ya. All the best love advice comes from music.
Thank you, Amy. And happy birthday!