I love Tina Fey. This is probably the biggest “duh” I've ever written. And, given the number of friendly folks who sent me the link to her Vanity Fair article yesterday [hat tipalooza to Babs, pyewacket, cappuccinogirl and Dianna!], everyone else knows it, too. So I was, of course, tickled pink (and every other color with a sense of humor) to read the big, fancy cover story written by Maureen Dowd and shot by Annie Leibovitz.
First things first, holy freaking crap, did you see those photos? I spent unexpected quality time with my floor thanks to the thud I took when I saw all the hotness. I'd also like to express my sincere gratitude to Annie in advance for lowering my heating bill this season. Because, damn, those photos are going to warm up many a cold winter night for me – if you know what I mean.
And then there is the rather lengthy piece by Maureen (those folks with Pulitzers think they invented the sentence) that covers Tina's rise to fame, work ethic and even that infamous scar. It is clearly, just given its subject matter, an interesting read. But through the whole thing I couldn't help being just a tad annoyed. No, not with Tina. I could never be annoyed with Tina. I worship daily at the alter of Fey-minism.
No, I was annoyed with the writer. Jesus, Maureen, we get it. Tina Fey joined Weight Watchers and started dressing better. Do you have to keep harping on her “makeover?” How many times do you have to come back to the fact that Tina was once “quite round” with a “bad short haircut” and “thrift-store sweaters?”
The genius of Tina is not that she “lost 30 pounds, fixed her hair, put on a pair of hot-teacher glasses.” Granted, the article doesn't lay the entire secret to her success on her transformation from “mousy brain into a brainy glamour-puss.” Maureen also repeatedly mentioned her “German” work ethic. But she goes back to her supposed metamorphosis enough to make me wonder, would she ever write this way about a man? Would anyone write this way about a man?
Yeah, probably not. It's still a man's world, even when written by women. Though I did rather like New Yorker staff writer Michael Specter's description of Tina in the article as “the sex symbol for every man who reads without moving his lips.” So, in the end, I'm just grateful that Tina is rocking the shit out of all of our worlds.
A collection of my Fey-vorites from Vanity Fair:
On her husband, Jeff, wanting to go to this strip club “ironically.”:
“I was like, ‘The fuck you will.’....I feel like we all need to be better than that. That industry needs to die, by all of us being a little bit better than that.”
On hanging out at her mom's Greek friends at their weekly poker games:
“I loved hanging out with the ladies, because they were very funny, and a little bit mean, and had lots of Entenmann’s products....Because of the Greek-girl thing, I have, like, boobs and butt...I only have two speeds— either matronly or a little too slutty. I have to be steered away from cheetah print.”
On growing up in a family of Republicans:
“When I was 18 and registering to vote, my mom’s only instruction was ‘You just go in and pull the big Republican lever.’ That’s my welcome to adulthood. She’s like, ‘No, don’t even read it. Just pull the Republican lever.”
On not losing her virginity until her 20s:
“I remember bringing people over in high school to play—that’s how cool I am—that game Celebrity. That’s how I successfully remained a virgin well into my 20s, bringing gay boys over to play Celebrity.”
On her scar, caused when she was 5 by a stranger slashing her face in her front yard:
“It’s impossible to talk about it without somehow seemingly exploiting it and glorifying it,” she says. Did she feel less attractive growing up because of it? “I don’t think so,” she says. “Because I proceeded unaware of it. I was a very confident little kid. It’s really almost like I’m kind of able to forget about it, until I was on-camera, and it became a thing of ‘Oh, I guess we should use this side’ or whatever. Everybody’s got a better side.”
On her own vanity:
“The most I’ve changed pictures out of vanity was to edit around any shot where you can see my butt. I like to look goofy, but I also don’t want to get canceled because of my big old butt.”
On talk of her being “mean” to Sarah Palin backstage at SNL:
“What made me super-mad about it was that it seemed very sexist toward me and her. The implication was that she’s so fragile, which she is not. She’s a strong woman. And then, also, it was sexist because, like, who would ever go on the news and say, ‘Well, I thought it was sort of mean to Richard Nixon when Dan Aykroyd played him,’ and ‘That seemed awful mean to George Bush when Will Ferrell did it.’ And it’s like, No, that’s not the thing. This is a comedy sketch on a comedy show.”
And, finally, the most sexist and simultaneously brilliant piece of advice Alec Baldwin has probably ever given in his life:
“You are a very attractive woman and you’ve got to work that. You’ve got to pop one more button on that blouse... ”
Hey, did anyone else do a little quick calculation in her head while reading the article? OK, so, Tina is 38. She met Jeff 14 years ago. And she lost her virginity at age 25. Finally, all those years of studying math pays off. Also, if you don't turn instantly into a Fey-natic (too much? nah.) after seeing Tina dance in this video then I'm not sure if we can still be friends. Fine, we can still be friends. But I'll call you my crazy friend.