Where the hell do I begin with Tina Fey? In short: her whole shtick is that she’s a non-Anglo-Nordic, brown-haired, brown-eyed white woman and is SOOOO oppressed because of it.
Things that she’s said off the top of my head:
That she loves the idea of strippers and imitating them as a form of comedy, but women should aim higher in real life.
That for every refined, intelligent woman, there’s a skank with a bad boob job that she has to go up against because the world is full of whores.
I remember in Bossypants, she mentioned that it was hard to get action at UVA unless you were Martha Jefferson or Sally Hemings because the rape of black slaves by their masters is a great topic to center your joke around. Reading that was when I realized that Tina Fey’s biggest personal conflict seems to be that she’s not “white” enough since she’s lacking the blonde, blue-eyed look, but not still not interesting enough to qualify as “exotic” like black, Asian, and Latin women.
Then the quote I referred to in my initial post about my dislike for Tina Fey:
“I think the first real change in women’s body image came when JLo turned it butt-style. That was the first time that having a large-scale situation in the back was part of mainstream American beauty. Girls wanted butts now. Men were free to admit that they had always enjoyed them. And then, what felt like moments later, boom — Beyoncé brought the leg meat. A back porch and thick muscular legs were now widely admired. And from that day forward, women embraced their diversity and realized that all shapes and sizes are beautiful.
Ah ha ha. No. I’m totally messing with you. All Beyoncé and JLo have done is add to the laundry list of attributes women must have to qualify as beautiful. Now every girl is expected to have Caucasian blue eyes, full Spanish lips, a classic button nose, hairless Asian skin with a California tan, a Jamaican dance hall ass, long Swedish legs, small Japanese feet, the abs of a lesbian gym owner, the hips of a nine-year-old boy, the arms of Michelle Obama, and doll tits. The person closest to actually achieving this look is Kim Kardashian, who, as we know, was made by Russian scientists to sabotage our athletes.”
This quote is also from Bossypants, and then it popped up again after the whole Kim Kardashian butt photo-shoot fiasco.
This. Fucking. Quote. Though.
Let’s skip over the obvious that she’s reducing two WOC to punchlines in her “joke” about beauty standards.
I can’t speak to Beyonce and the beauty standards within the black community, but since I not only come from the same culture as J.Lo, but also from the same damn neighborhood in The Bronx, I can say that J.Lo’s body was not considered anything spectacular. In fact, there are better examples of rear ends within the Latin community. Rear ends was something we had always considered beautiful within our OWN community. The struggle came when looking OUTSIDE of our community and trying to feel beautiful then when we were constantly told that a body shape that is common among our people is a vulgar trait. Then J.Lo made it big, and for once, we had a representation of ourselves out there in the big wide world of the American mainstream.
But how dare we feel beautiful at the expense of white women?, Tina Fey seems to be asking. Look at how the appearance of non-white body types has affected our mainstream beauty standard for the worse!
The attributes Tina Fey mentions also happens to be attributes that have a history and a continuing reality of being fetishized by white men, and she seems to be blaming WOC through J.Lo and Beyonce for having these fetishized attributes instead of criticizing the fetishization itself of our bodies! It’s almost like she thinks this fetishization benefits WOC over white women and is blaming us for complicating modern American beauty standards!
And then to have white women on Tumblr reblogging this quote (it popped up several times on my dashboard) and applauding her for this—-UGH.
To recap: Tina Fey’s feminism lacks both WOC and imagination. Boo and hiss to her.