An Open Letter to People Who Think Women Aren't Funny
Thanks to another "rule" about women not being "girly," I avoided jokes that revolved around dating, periods, feminism, and sex (unless at my expense). Every time I had a good set, I worried that a male comic might get mad. (This happens a lot.) I deflected compliments from audience members.
Then I turned 30. It struck me: I was living in New York City. I'd found my calling. I could afford Netflix and Hulu. I was killing it at my shows and parlaying my comedy into acting gigs and writing jobs. Not once had someone commented, "Oh, wait. Now that I notice you're a woman, every bit you've ever performed retroactively sucks. You tricked me into thinking you were a guy by wearing jeans." I was on fire. Didn't I deserve to look hot on stage?
I began overhauling my work wardrobe to mirror what I wore in real life. Boho maxi and body-hugging sweater dresses with Louboutins or thigh-high boots. Leather miniskirts and skintight jeans that made no excuses for my butt. (I eat a lot of bread to maintain that tush!) If I was going for greatness, I couldn't keep hiding—from my true style or my best material. I retooled my act and started drawing on breakups with guys, awkward moments in interracial dating, and funky female grooming habits. I got used to standing Os, and I stopped worrying about whether anyone would resent me for them.
I recently performed braless in a tiny tank top and jeans. Granted, I'm only a 34A, so not that big a deal, but I did devote five minutes' worth of jokes to it, probably because I was a little self-conscious. #ImAWorkInProgress. No one in the audience seemed to fixate on the fact that my boobs were roaming free like loose blueberries in the bottom of a Whole Foods shopping cart. They only cared that—like all the women before me—I made them laugh.