Thanks to STXfilms, I was able to interview Amy Schumer about her new film I FEEL PRETTY and attend a free screening of the film. All opinions are my own. This interview has been edited for readability. All photos are courtesy of STXfilms.
In I FEEL PRETTY an ordinary woman who struggles with feelings of insecurity and inadequacy on a daily basis wakes from a fall believing she is suddenly the most beautiful and capable woman on the planet. With this newfound confidence she is empowered to live her life fearlessly and flawlessly, but what will happen when she realizes her appearance never changed?
I FEEL PRETTY and Interviewing Amy Schumer
On April 19th, I was fortunate to be one of six bloggers to attend a phone interview with Amy Schumer about her current film, I FEEL PRETTY. It was my birthday, so that was a pretty good present! I so appreciate that she took the time out of her schedule to chat with us.
I FEEL PRETTY centers around Renee Bennett (played by Schumer). She looks in the mirror and sees someone who isn’t good enough. She’s got great friends and a good job, but that’s not enough for her. She wants to be beautiful.
When she falls and hits her head, suddenly, her wish to be beautiful comes true. Except nothing has changed. She THINKS she looks so different, no one will recognize her. As you can imagine, it’s hilarious.
Thinking she is beautiful now, she’s got all the confidence in the world. She goes for her dream job…as a receptionist where she already works in web development…because she thinks now she’s beautiful enough to be seen. She exudes confidence, and it totally shows. Now Renee speaks her mind, and this lands her in a unique position at her job.
It also leads her to be confident enough to talk to a guy at the dry cleaners and pursue a relationship. Her life changes just because she thinks she is beautiful now. The rest of the film is filled with heartwarming moments and cringeworthy moments (when Renee becomes a bit overly confident…you’ll see). I don’t want to give away spoilers, but I went away from this movie feeling so great about myself because of its amazing message. How you see yourself is so important!
What if we all felt this way about ourselves? What if we looked in the mirror and said, “I’m beautiful!” And then we started acting like we truly believed that. What if we loved ourselves the way we are?
I am so glad we got to interview Amy Schumer about I FEEL PRETTY. She makes me want to love myself. I left the theatre laughing and smiling and crying a bit. I think you will too!
I definitely think you should take your teenage and young adult daughters to this movie. It is a must see for women who have any self-esteem issues…and who doesn’t? I’m telling everyone I know to see I FEEL PRETTY. This message needs to get out there. We need to shout it from the rooftops. Be confident and be kind to yourself! And always bring other women up. We’ve got enough issues without bringing each other down.
Having seen the film the night before, it was fresh in my mind as we were interviewing Amy. Since the message of I FEEL PRETTY is that it is how you see yourself and feel about yourself that matters, a lot of the interview questions focused on this.
Someone wanted to know what advice she has for women who want to feel confident but might not know how to get there?
I love Amy’s answer:
Pay attention to the times where you feel your best. Notice when you’re thinking, “I feel really good right now.” For me, it’s when I’m hanging out with my friends or my family, and you’re not even thinking about what you look like and you feel so confident, and trying to carry that with you all the time.
As mothers, you guys are in such a unique position to really help your children love themselves. You have to actually like yourself and love yourself. They say if just one adult makes you feel good about yourself, children carry that with them all the time. So, pay attention to how you talk about yourself.
I know people are really affected if their mothers are always saying, “Oh, I hate how I look in this; I gained weight.” Your child’s more likely to be critical of themselves that way. Be careful about how we talk about ourselves. We’re all guilty of that.
So, I think really loving yourself is a great way to start, and I love myself. I love myself because of who I am as a daughter and as a friend and a sister and now a wife and the work I do. All of that is what has helped me to be confident, and it really has nothing to do with a mirror.
One of my readers wanted to know what advice Amy had for her 10 year old self. It seems that when we’re around that age, suddenly, we become more aware that our bodies and looks matter. Here’s what she had to say:
First of all, I would give my ten year old self a big hug and I would say, “Keep going, you’re going to do great things, and the world needs you.”
Schumer wants girls to understand this:
“Don’t listen to anybody else. When someone insults you, it’s saying more about how they feel about themselves than how they feel about you.”
I actually feel bad for bullies, because they must be so unhappy to have to go out of their way to just be unkind. So, I would just sympathize with the bullies and smile at them and smile at myself in the mirror, and say, “You know who you are.”
Someone also asked what Amy learned from playing the role of Renee. I love how confident Amy already is about herself considering the fact that people have been so critical of her.
I’ve been pretty kind to myself. I do love and like myself, but playing Renee when she has her most inflated self-confidence and ego, I learned both that it’s important to love yourself, but not to the extent that it hurts anyone else. But, when I was looking in the mirror in that scene where I discover that I’m suddenly beautiful, as an actress, I wasn’t picturing someone else.
I was really looking at myself and being grateful for the package I come in. I was grateful for my strong legs and arms and for being healthy. It just gave me this really grateful sense of the package that I come in, instead of searching for flaws. I’ve carried that with me ever since filming and I’m going to keep that with me.
What attracted Amy to the script was this:
The message; the idea of getting out of your own way and of confidence being so mental. You know the way you want your best friends to see themselves. Why not extend that same love and courtesy to yourself? It’s so much easier to comfort our friends, but this movie’s really about being open to loving yourself and not looking for other people’s experiences to define you.
She hopes that I FEEL PRETTY empowers women.
I think women really get held back because of perceived flaws they have of themselves. If there’s something we’re uncomfortable with or if we’re afraid, we’re going to be insulted. I think that’s a really big part of what holds women back from speaking up, from raising your hand in class.
And, I think my character, Renee, really does feel invisible, and she doesn’t really want to be looked at in the beginning of this movie. But, once she has the confidence and gets out of her own way, she’s able to live to her full potential and become really active at work and share her ideas and her thoughts.
Schumer uses meditation and positivity to help her get out of her own way.
I started meditating about five or six years ago, twice a day for 20 minutes a day. I just close my eyes and breathe. I shut my phone off during this time. That’s really helpful, because when we’re in our phones all day or we’re on the internet, we have all these outside sources telling us that we’re not good enough, so we buy their product. Just to tune all of that out twice a day has been really helpful.
But, also, I make a real habit of looking myself in the mirror and smiling and appreciating who I am, not wanting to look any different, appreciating the package I come in today. Having those thoughts, being grateful for who I am, what I look like, everything, just being grateful for it. And, I’ve gotten a lot better about it.
I added that moment in I FEEL PRETTY, where I’m standing there in my SPANX, because it’s a moment that I had so frequently, and I think we’ve all experienced. I don’t have those moments anymore. I was looking at myself, almost angry and disappointed.
I was born looking how I look. No judgment for people who get plastic surgery or whatever. I’m not going to do that personally. I want to just be grateful for the package I come in. I’m in a unique position where I’ve spent a lot of time with women who are famous models or actresses. I know that they don’t feel any better about themselves than my friends who are nurses and teachers.
And having that commonality really shows you how much it’s all mental, and it’s just such a waste of energy.
I FEEL PRETTY Official Trailer
Be confident, be bold, be you. I FEEL PRETTY is in theaters now!