Caroline Meyers
June 20, 2015 8:30 am

We’re in the middle of the lead up to the Emmy awards, where all kinds of shows are making a play for those golden statuettes, and for my money, one of the best new offerings television has given us this year has to be The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. During an event promoting the show, co-creator Tina Fey admitted that part of her inspiration for the character of Kimmy Schmidt, a woman in her late 20s who was locked in an underground bunker as part of an apocalyptic cult for 15 years and is just emerging into the world as the show begins, was the unshakable optimism of actress Ellie Kemper.

“The idea initially came about out of using Ellie as the inspiration; just thinking about what characteristics Ellie had as an actress,” Fey said at a screening event, according to IndieWire. “She has this sunniness and this strength combined, and that led us to a few different premises — and then we chose the least marketable one.”

The first season of the show was released on Netflix in March, allowing people (myself included) to unapologetically binge watch the entire series. Usually my Netflix binges are shrouded in secrecy, but I will admit with pride that I devoured this entire show within a few hours. And you know what? I regret nothing. The show is simultaneously hilarious and uplifting, which is no small feat, but I expected nothing less from Tina Fey’s newest brainchild. And not only is it entertaining, it’s inspirational. Within the first five minutes of each episode, during the theme song, we are reminded that “females are strong as hell,” but that’s not the only thing that Kimmy Schmidt taught us. Here are some other valuable things that we can all earn from everyone’s favorite Indiana mole woman.

You’re more than just a label

You can totally be more than one thing, and you’re not just limited to one descriptive word that someone arbitrarily throws at you. It’s possible to be simultaneously pretty and tough, as Schmidt says: “Like a diamond. Or beef jerky in a ballgown.”

Uncomfortable situations are a part of life, but you can deal with them

Everyone, absolutely, goes through things that aren’t the most fun. Maybe it’s not being trapped in a bunker like Kimmy, but there are situations that we all have to endure. Kimmy gives us some great advice for making it through the tough times: “You can stand anything for ten seconds,” she reminds us. And what do you do once you’ve finished? Start on a new ten seconds

Life can be hard, and sometimes the only way to get through it is to keep going forward

Like Kimmy says, “Life beats you up. You can either curl up in a ball and die or you can stand up and say, ‘We’re different. We’re the strong ones, and you can’t break us.’”

You always have to find your own truth

When Kimmy emerges from the bunker she was forced to live in, she finds out that what she suspected was true all along: The world wasn’t destroyed in a horrible event, as Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne told her, but is still out there after all. It reminds us that you can’t take anyone’s word for it: Factcheck and find your own truth.

Put some swagger in it

Exuding confidence is a way to get what you want. The secret is that absolutely no one knows exactly what they’re doing all the time. Sometimes you just have to fake it until you make it. If you act like you belong (or in Kimmy’s case, pretend that you’re French, you’ve got nothing to worry about.

Even when things get tough, it’s worth trying

At the end of the first episode, Kimmy is ready to pack it up and go back to Indiana. Her money has been stolen, she’s lost her job, and she hasn’t figured out the big city. But then she has an epiphany: “The worst thing that ever happened to me happened in my own front yard.” Safety is never guaranteed, no matter where you are. So you may as well go for it.

The most important takeaway from The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt?

You be you, and don’t worry about anyone else

You know what? You may not be what someone else wants you to be. That’s completely OK.  You have to find the courage within yourself to be you, unapologetically. To be, in fact, straight up unbreakable

Thanks, Kimmy. We can’t wait to see what other wisdom you have in store for season 2.

Related Stories:
An open letter to ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ (from a fellow Kimmie)
5 ways ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ ruined my life

[Image via Netflix]

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