Life Advice From 14 Hilarious Women
Know your strengths, don't punish yourself for your slip-ups, and only judge yourself against your own rubric. Those are the major lessons that these hilarious, and incredibly insightful women share with us as they reflect on their best life advice. Women in comedy have this innate ability to push boundaries, speak their truths, and trail-blaze in a field where success is a tough shell to crack. Who better to mentor our own lives than incredibly successful women who have a knack for laughing at themselves, and not taking themselves too seriously? Scroll through and get your self-image on point with a little wisdom from these daring truth-sayers.
At one of Glamour's These Girls events—a night of monologues about what it means to be a young woman—Amy Schumer shared her wisdom about self-image: "Get your self-image from your relationships with the people who know you. No matter what’s going on, I know I'm a really great sister, I'm a great friend, and that's who I am. And I can feel beautiful and sexy without it all being about feedback." We want to thank Schumer for making sexy about how you feel, not how others make you feel.
In her hilarious, vulnerable, and wonderfully honest book Yes Please, Amy Poehler bestows some much-needed advice on her readers: "Sticking up for ourselves in the same way we would one of our friends is a hard but satisfying thing to do. Sometimes it works." We love how Poehler acknowledges how hard it is to stick up for yourself, especially for women. But we all need to remember how important it is to be our own strongest advocate.
It's not all about women leaning in and claiming their rightful place at the table. A big part of the discussion that gets left out of the media is the importance of women helping other women. Chelsea Handler brought this issue to light at a women's summit in Los Angeles: "Women don't have to be jealous of other women," Handler said at the Women A.R.E. event. "Women should lift each other up." We couldn't agree more.
In 2009, Ellen DeGeneres gave the commencement speech at Tulane University. Her message was about her definition of success and how it has evolved. "It was so important for me to lose everything, because I found out what the most important thing is: to be yourself. Ultimately, that's what's gotten me to this place. I don't live in fear, I'm free; I have no secrets, and I know I'll always be okay, because no matter what, I know who I am," DeGeneres told the graduating class. While we may not advise giving up all of your secrets, discovering who you are and being proud of yourself is definitely a surefire route to success.
Kristen Wiig is one of those people who generates tremendous on-screen charisma. Her comedic timing is brilliant, and her writing skills are outstanding (hello, Bridesmaids). However, the art major was working at a plastic surgery office before she decided to quit and give her real passion a go. She shares the life advice that helped her do that with Elle: "Don't become something just because someone else wants you to, or because it's easy; you won't be happy. You have to do what you really, really, really, want to do, even if it scares the s*** out of you."
Maya Rudolph is like a burst of sunshine every time we see her hilarious self on-screen. She's also full of prudent advice, some of which she dispensed to the graduating class of 2015 in her commencement speech at Tulane University: "Hold on to your friends. Kiss your mama. Admit what your dreams are. Don't beat yourself up if you don't know what you're gonna do tomorrow. But work hard and don't be lazy. And put away your damn phone once in a while. And be nice to jerks, because we still don't know the criteria for getting into heaven yet." Spoken like a true funnywoman.
"When I was fired (from Saturday Night Live), I ordered 50 million pizzas and invited all of my friends over. It’s important to let yourself go through all the emotions," Slate told Rolling Stone. "But if you start seeing yourself as a victim rather than as all of the other amazing things you could be, it’s time to snap out of it." Since her season on SNL, Slate has written and starred in a memorable film called Obvious Child and written a New York Times bestselling book about the precocious Marcel. We can't wait for Slate's next moment of creative genius—she knows how to channel those emotions well!
If you haven't seen Lily Tomlin's Netflix series Grace and Frankie, you're very lucky; a huge burst of joy and laughter is about to enter your life. Tomlin has been making people laugh for decades, but it seems this brazen comedian is only getting better with age. Tomlin's appreciation and respect for humor is a lesson in itself: "I have always felt that humor was a wonderful vehicle to let us become connected with each other and ourselves," she tells Variety. "I try to portray the similarities and polarities in men and women, so that we can acknowledge and embrace our collective consciousness."
We know Lena Dunham isn't technically a comedian (actress, writer, producer, and director will suffice), but she is one of the funniest women we've ever met. In her book Not That Kind of Girl, Dunham suggests that "respect isn't something you command through intimidation and intellectual bullying. It's something you build through a long life of treating people how you want to be treated, and focusing on your mission."
Tina Fey includes a lot of valuable advice in her book Bossypants. For Fey, doing improvisation has offered her a wealth of life advice. For instance, the first rule of improv is to say yes. The second is to not only say yes but to say yes, and. This is where is gets interesting for Fey: "To me, YES AND means don't be afraid to contribute. It's your responsibility to contribute. Always make sure you're adding something to the discussion. Your initiations are worthwhile."
Miranda Hart is one of the most hilarious people we've ever seen on Netflix (check out Call the Midwife, if you haven't already) and she is also an impeccable author who offers sage life advice wrapped in original humor in her book, Is It Just Me?: "I think it's sad when people stop dreaming or start losing hope. Because holding onto the bonkers dream might just turn out to be the most marvelous thing you ever did."
After her scene-stealing role in Bridesmaids, McCarthy exploded over pop culture in box-office winners like The Heat, Identity Thief, and Tammy, but we fell in love with McCarthy years ago when she played Sookie on Gilmore Girls. The leading lady has a simple but effective method for finding the right man: "You find the nicest guy in the world, and you marry him," she told Entertainment Tonight.
Whose advice resonates with you the most? Tell us in the comments below.