Thursday, January 31, 2013
A Thank You to Tina Fey for Allowing Us All to Come Out as Lizbeians
Tonight we say goodbye to Liz Lemon and her motley crew of NBC's "30 Rock."
It's been 7 seasons with brilliant writing. Interestingly in her autobiography, Bossypants, Tina Fey says,
"Though we are grateful for the affection 30 Rock has received from critics and hipsters, we were actually trying to make a hit show. We weren’t trying to make a low-rated critical darling that snarled in the face of conventionality. We were trying to make Home Improvement and we did it wrong. You know those scientists who were developing a blood-pressure medicine and they accidentally invented Viagra? We were trying to make Viagra and we ended up with blood-pressure medicine.”
Though this show may not have done what it set out to do, it, and it's creator, Tina Fey, did a lot for me, and many other smart girls out there who are just trying to have it all.
Fey's alter-ego-protagonist of "30 Rock," Liz Lemon, is perhaps the most relatable character for the liberal, modern, single woman ever written. As Jack described her, she is "a "New York third-wave feminist, college-educated, single-and-pretending-to-be-happy-about-it, over-scheduled, undersexed, you buy any magazine that says 'healthy body image' on the cover and every two years you take up knitting for...a week." She is a feminist, an environmentalist, committed to her career, a binge eater, and a neurotic mess plagued by awkwardness, body-issues, and the overall belief that she is smarter than the majority of people around her.Yep, I know I'm not alone in saying that I was all too glad to embrace a heroine like Liz Lemon who made it ok to admit to so many things-like being a Star Wars loving geek who is afraid of slipping getting out of the shower and would love a man to buy her mozzarella sticks at the bar or just go home and eat some night cheese. Sure there are girls out there who are a "Jenna" or a "Cerie," but they didn't need this show to find validation in being who they were. Liz Lemon is a character who will forever change how women accept themselves, much like how a show like "Roseanne" allowed families who weren't the Waltons or the Cosbys embrace and laugh at their own imperfections.
I, like Liz Lemon, always had an unrealistically inflated self opinion that led me to proudly strut when I should probably have crawled into a dark closet. But even I have found such solace in knowing that simply being yourself is awesome and that I am not alone in my passionate quest to just have a good sandwich and a handsome man and perfect career. There's a whole facebook fan page called 'I am Liz Lemon' where women share posts about the endless funny things they have in common with the character. And it's interesting to think, just 8 years ago, many women would not have felt pride or been comfortable sharing things like they pee when they laugh, they wear spanx, or that their idea of an awesome nooner would be going home and eating pancakes for lunch. But Liz Lemon, really Tina Fey, made it ok and cool to be weird. And that is something so wonderful and freeing. It's like she gave an entire generation the best gift ever, the kind of gift that could make you 'Jack' with excitement.
Lemon said it best when she said "I support women. I'm like a human bra."
So congratulations and thank you Tina Fey for being that human bra supporting us and making it easier for us all to come out as Lizbeians and letting us know that in doing so, we really can have it all.