For Tina Fey fans, her memoir Bossypants is a read you don’t want to miss. It’s a personal story, like you’re sitting down with Fey at a coffee shop one sunny Tuesday to talk about her life. It’s hilarious, it’s personal, it’s laugh-out-loud funny and it’s surprisingly insightful. I found that, as I read the book, I gained a new respect for Fey and her work.
Fey was a long-time writer for “Saturday Night Live” and is also known for producing “30 Rock.” Wherever she goes, Fey uses her knowledge and people skills to crack clever jokes and witty commentaries in every situation. Her book is nothing less than what we’ve come to expect from her.
What I loved best about the book is that she not only told about her life and her background — accentuated by hilarious stories from her childhood and awkward teenage years — but she also wrote like she was giving advice. The book was incredibly personal, not like any other memoir about someone’s life that bores you to death. She gives readers real life advice.
The best piece of advice I got out of the book was “there are no mistakes, only beautiful happy accidents.” Fey is referring to improv, of course, but the lesson applies to all avenues in life. While everything she tried to do — in TV, in school, with boys, with her parents — did not always work out, she always learned from it and managed to take something positive from the experience.
Fey’s book also manages to examine gender roles and stereotypes in society as she reflects on working her way into the TV world. Her insights are funny, but also incredibly realistic. She shows readers how gender ideology still plays a huge role in society today, but how she combated that by out-witting the boys. Smart girls will always finish first, and laugh last.
In describing herself, she lists: “Droopy brown eyes designed to confuse predators into thinking I’m just on the verge of sleep and they should come back tomorrow to eat me, wide-set knockers that aren’t so big but can be hoisted up once or twice a year for parades, [and] wide German hips that look like somebody wrapped Pillsbury dough around a case of soda.”
In criticizing herself in such a laughable way, readers think about the ways in which they criticize themselves every day. Fey helps readers realize that it’s much better to laugh at one’s own flaws and to realize that everyone is different than to live hating the way you look.
This is an incredible read; I highly recommend it to any Tina Fey fans out there, or people who hardly know who she is and enjoy a nice laugh. Fey’s hilarious stories about her every day life just might make it easier to laugh at your own. Five stars.