Tina Fey’s Bossypants – Hysterical… and More!
I’ve never seen her show 30 Rock only because I don’t watch a whole lot of television. Other than assuming it had something to do with being about a TV show on NBC (hence the name 30 Rock…and I get to say “hence”) I knew little about it.
I enjoyed her work immensely both as head writer and Weekend Update news anchor on Saturday Night Live but mainly have had a long-time crush on her because she has two traits I find to be incredibly attractive in women who have beauty and brilliance.
Those traits would be…beauty and brilliance.
Tina Fey has been called, “The Thinking Man’s Sex Symbol.” I thought I made that term up but — like my other original thoughts — I didn’t.
I finally read her bestselling book, Bossypants. My timing is not always good. It’s been out for three years.
Ostensibly (which, like “hence” I write whenever the opportunity presents itself) it’s her biography with a lot of self-effacing, Fey-ish, hysterical comedy from one of the most talented and funny human beings on this planet, along with just a bit of how to succeed in a very sexist world and workplace without succumbing to the many landmines teaching.
Then again, not so fast. Indeed, it is a biography. And, it is really, really, really funny. (LOL-funny. No, make that ROTFL-funny. Wait, let’s go with ROTFLMAO-funny. However, to not upset anyone who believes the worst thing I ever say is “darn to heck” we’ll make believe the “A” doesn’t mean “ass.”)
But it’s definitely a book that is — in my opinion — very instructive. While it effectively makes the case that sexism still runs far more rampant than most of us men would like to think it does, it also provides a lot of wonderful mentorship for women to succeed in spite of it. And, like the author, it comes from a place of empowerment, not victimhood.
Early in the book, the author relates that from the time she became Executive Producer of 30 Rock she’s been asked “intelligent” questions such as, “Is it hard for you, being the boss? And, is it uncomfortable for you to be the person in charge?” In typical Fey-style she continues, “You know, in that same way they say, ‘Gosh, Mr. Trump, is it awkward for you to be the boss of all these people?’” After assuring us that it’s neither hard nor uncomfortable, she then provides a one-paragraph summation of how to be a great leader that would make for a wonderful premise of any really terrific book on leadership.
The language is somewhat coarse so parents should decide when their daughters are mature enough to read it. However, I believe that if enough young women were to learn these lessons they’d be more equipped to conquer their worlds and understand the intrinsic value they possess regardless of whether they look like the women on the cover of — ironically enough — most women’s magazines (that part is my commentary, not Fey’s).
Apparently, I’m one of the relatively few men who has read Bossypants because on page 179 she actually personally thanks me for buying it. Not by name, mind you, but by saying, “if you are a male…thank you for buying this book.” Yes, this is personal in the same way the magazine renewal notice addresses me as “Dear Subscriber” but I’ll take it.
I think all men should read it. First, we need to read about how dense we can be from time-to-time. More than that, we can laugh hysterically while realizing how dense we can be from time-to-time.
However, please don’t misconstrue (refer back to “hence” and “ostensibly”) this as a book that bashes men. Not one bit. She believes that — among other things — a strong father/father figure like her Dad, Don Fey, is a key ingredient to a young girl growing up to become a happy, confident and achievement-oriented woman.
This book is about Tina’s life, her struggles, her failures and successes, and about sexism that is bought into by men and women alike. I mean, she did write the movie, “Mean Girls.” I haven’t seen that one, either. Then again, I still haven’t seen E.T. As I said, my timing isn’t always the best.
Grabbing the book from one of the O’Hare Airport bookstores, I simply expected a fun read. I mean, the title is Bossypants — how profound could it be? Yet, it was extremely profound. And, it was so, SO FUNNY.
I tried not to laugh too much or too loudly. You see, when I laugh uncontrollably there comes with it a really strange wheezing sound which must be somewhat infectious because it causes other people to laugh, as well. Unfortunately, they are laughing at me, not with me. I also begin to panic a bit because I can’t stop and I can’t breathe. This happened before boarding and pretty much throughout the flight. Perhaps the book should come with a warning. It doesn’t. You’ll have to take your chances.
Whether just for some continuous, Fey-induced laughs or to learn some really important lessons on life, leadership and success; whether for you or for the women in your life, this is a book to buy and read.
Especially if you admire women who combine beauty and brilliance.