Here's Why The Response to Amy Schumer’s Viral Makeup Video Misses the Point

If you look at Schumer’s unique message, you see that she’s giving the women who are afraid to post selfies without makeup a break.
Publish date:
May 4, 2015
feminism, comedy, Styleite, Amy Schumer, Inside Amy Schumer

Amy Schumer’s hilarious viral “Girl You Don’t Need Makeup” sketch is yet another one of her brilliant patented self-image masterpieces. Previously, she has been ridiculously on point about all the stuff women do to feel worthy enough for a man to look at. So the no makeup business is just a part of her larger arsenal of work that finds Amy tearing into the nonsense women do to look O.K. (anal bleaching and smoking to lose weight being some of them.)

In the “Girl You Don’t Need Makeup,” music video parody, first a band of One Direction-y lame-os tell her the great news: she’s so beautiful that she doesn’t even need make up. They get her to throw out all her beauty goodies INCLUDING NAIL POLISH. Cut to a liberating shot of her washing it all away, refreshed and emboldened. Then, they see the real her and immediately insist that she actually does need makeup — “lots and lots of makeup.”

The options are simple: get used to the idea of waking up an hour earlier to fake cheekbones (ew, no) or get used to there being no more boys cradling your chin and looking at you with deeply meaningful eyes.

Schumer’s got calling foul on the whole conventional beauty standards thing down. But a lot of her comedy suggests that most of us just accept beauty magazine gospel begrudgingly. Instead of raging against men’s unpleasant view of women, here she shows that she knows it’s nonsense but goes along with it anyway.

The heart to heart from the guy who is telling her his truth is the best part of this video:

Girl, I wanna get real with you. I got a lot of regrets in my life. I regret missing my father’s funeral to audition for the voice. I regret being high when my niece was born. But most of all, I regret telling you not to wear makeup. That’s on me. But what’s on you, is hopefully more makeup. See it’s like I tore up the shag carpet hoping assuming there were hardwood floor underneath. But it turned out to be just dirty linoleum. These are just metaphors, girl. But they are about your face.

Schumer posted her own #nomakeup selfie and asked women to do the same. In response to the video, she’s received countless selfies of women across the world being their awesome selves without makeup. But Schumer’s larger point speaks to the rest of the women who aren’t as convinced that they don’t need makeup.

This sketch takes us closer to something she’s always been conscious of: the fact that magazines are screwed, and what you look like has nothing to do with your value as a person, sucks. Obviously women should do whatever the hell they want with their faces — and their anuses, for that matter. But Schumer reveals that she wants to look good enough, even if it is adhering to bullshit standards.

The visuals of women who don’t buy into all of that participating in her viral campaign — hiking and being moms and saying cool things while enjoying Chipotle — are honest. But if you look at Schumer’s unique message, and all the other chapters of her comedy that have led to it, you see that she’s giving the women who are afraid to post selfies without makeup a break. People are constantly up in our faces (like the boys in the video) demanding us to be natural, but only if we’re conventionally hot. Schumer’s all real talk, and the sketch confirms that giving up makeup isn’t the easiest thing to do.

The no makeup selfies are beautiful, but they’re not the women and men she’s targeting. The whole video sympathizes with those of us who take the dumb band’s beliefs to heart.

Reprinted with permission from Styleite. Want more? Check out these related articles from Styleite:

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