Betsy Loves, Culture, Writing

Tina Fey’s bossy pants

I’d like to think of this as a little series – inspirational reads and women – but we shall see how that goes. As it stands, I have a small pile of books written by women that I’ve found truly inspirational, and I’d love to share them with you guys.

First up, Tina Fey’s Bossypants. Now, this isn’t a new book by any stretch, but while you might have seen its bright yellow cover in bookshops, you might not have picked it up. You should. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never seen 30 Rock; if you aren’t familiar with any of Tina Fey’s work; or heck, you don’t even really know who she is; she is worth the read, regardless. I mean, this is an incredibly clever woman who is witty, self-deprecating and has words of wisdom that can be applied to every woman and girl’s life.


This book is her first (but I hope not her last!) and includes such joyful chapter headings as ‘Remembrances of Being Very Very Skinny’, ‘Remembrances of Being a Little Bit Fat’, ‘Peeing In Jars With Boys’ and ‘The Mother’s Prayer For Its Daughter’. It’s not merely an autobiography, it’s a collection of stories and anecdotes that will make you giggle and smile and feel happy, as well as make you think.

Why else do I like Tina Fey? She wrote Mean Girls; she’s besties with Amy Poehler (more on her another time); she acts; she tells jokes; she often appears on the ‘worst dressed’ lists and she doesn’t give a damn; she’s not afraid to look like a tit; she was part of the best tv show in years (30 Rock. It’s ace. Watch it); she had the best song in the new Muppets movie; and you know, you just know, that not only is she part of the ‘sisterhood’ but that she would be the BOMB to hang out with.

Here’s one of my favourite snippets from the book:

“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 Beyonce 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.”


If you enjoyed this, go on and buy your own copy. I’m pretty certain you won’t regret it.

Next time: #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso.


Beyoncé Hours

There’s a popular phrase doing the social media rounds along the lines of ‘You have the same number of hours in a day as Beyonce has’.

I’m inferring that the motivational message we’re to take from this is that we too can be as awesome, sassy, successful, rich, toned, talented etc as Beyonce, if only we put our minds to it and used all the hours at our disposal (24 in a day, the same as Queen B).

While, yes, this is factually accurate in terms of actual physical hours, minutes and seconds, it annoys the bejesus out of me!

For a start, I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that the woman has a personal chef, fitness trainer, driver, housekeeper, assistant, hell, even a personal arse wiper. And yeah, I’d have all of those things too if I was a billionaire married to a billionaire. But as someone who has to budget their finances, cook their own food, motivate (and fail) to get themselves to the gym, drive their own car and do their own washing and cleaning (I know, woe is me, right?), I really don’t have the same hours as Bey. So, sorry, ladies, if you’re aiming to be your own personal Beyonce Version 2014 then give up now, because you have no chance.

Too depressing and pessimistic for you? Let’s read that ‘motivational’ quote another way. Beyonce has not always been Beyonce. There’s no doubt that she’s worked incredibly hard to earn those billions (kudos), although marrying Jay-Z is hardly going to dent your R&B career… She slogged her way through the talent shows and competitions as a child, kept her uppity Destiny’s Child bandmates in their rightful places, wore her mother’s vile costume creations and endured media criticism of her body. She’s been at it since aged seven; today, she’s 32.

There’s nothing wrong about hard work – all 25 years of it; and there’s nothing wrong with telling people that to be successful, you have to put in the hours. So if that’s the message you take from the phrase, then huzzah! However I suspect many people aren’t seeing this as a lifestyle choice (work hard and eventually, if you’re lucky, you’ll reap the rewards); instead it’s part of a worrying new trend to slap down the achievements and choices of us ordinary folk. You aren’t Beyonce or someone famous? Then no one cares. You don’t live a fabulous celebrity lifestyle? Then why bother living at all. You don’t tick every item off your to-do list each day? Then you’re lazy.

Well, sod that. Beyonce, all credit to ya, you’re a successful woman, but I have my own life, with my own priorities, and while I might not be raking in the billions just yet, I’m not going to beat myself up about it; and you, yes, you, reading this, with your ordinary life and your ordinary priorities, you shouldn’t beat yourself up either.