Who is Tina Fey? There are a few people who haven’t heard the name, but for the millennials who have grown up without the wisdom of Liz Lemon, here is a short introduction. Tina Fey is a 49-year-old writer, comedian, producer and actor who still remains very relevant in the entertainment industry despite the blatant age discrimination prevalent in Hollywood today. If you want some references to her work, we suggest you watch 30 Rock or reruns of SNL.
Now that we have established her credibility as an industry icon, we’re going to tell you why she is the feminist icon we need. Fey has never backed down from expressing her opinions regarding discrimination in the industry and most of her work has feminist overtones to it. Read on to know how she won our hearts!
Breaking Barriers on SNL
For all those who say women can’t be funny, Tina Fey kicked ass as a Saturday Night Live writer for several years before she entered the limelight herself. In 1999, she rose to become first female head writer of the show, which shut up many cynical mouths for good. Soon after, she was cast to host “Weekly Update” with Jimmy Fallon. When he left the show, his position was taken up by another female powerhouse comedian Amy Poehler. It was the first time two women were heading such a dominant segment of the show, and they rocked! This is also where their iconic friendship began.
After SNL, Fey went on to write and star in Mean Girls, which portrayed high school and the struggles of teenage girls there. The movie had many instances of her trying to help the girls support each other rather than tear each other down.
Ironically, Fey left SNL to create a show about a show like SNL. Whew! That was difficult to put into words! Here too, she portrayed a character called Liz Lemon who was the head writer of the show. Liz Lemon was what we would call an imperfect feminist, but her struggles were relatable and hilarious at the same time.
Her Friendship with Amy Poehler
Both these women have achieved a lot individually. Poehler’s show Parks and Recreation, where she plays the overly enthusiastic government worker Leslie Knope, has also been highly appreciated by critics. That being said, these two have had each other’s back since SNL. Together, they have broken many a stereotype about female friendships and have worked together on and off since then, and we love them for that!
In 2011, she released her memoir named Bossypants. She talks about her childhood, her struggles, and her insecurities. The book reiterates how she has been called bossy all her life, and how she wears that badge with honor. While women are ‘supposed to be subservient’, Fey throws this stereotype right out the window with her book.
The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
This show is so enormously different than anything else on TV today. It starts with a girl, Kimmy, who had been abducted and kept underground for years. She has no idea how different the world has become since her abduction, but it’s now time to readjust to reality and transition back to regular life. While the theme of the show is debatably dark, the take on it and tone of the show is surprisingly light. Fey addresses serious issues without creating discomfort in the audience, and we love her for that.
Tina Fey is a feminist icon no matter how you look at it. Her years on SNL were one of the funniest, female-centric years of the show, and all her work has always expressed her brand of feminism. We really hope she continues to make us laugh while making us think because we can’t really imagine comedy without her!