I have been an Amy Schumer fan for a long time.
As someone whose friends describe her as "someone who doesn't care what anyone thinks to a clinical degree," Amy is hysterically funny, understated, honest and someone we can all relate to on almost every level.
The comedy industry isn't always the easiest place for a woman to excel, but Amy has exploded onto the scene in the past few years through her appearance on "Last Comic Standing," her hilarious own show, "Inside Amy Schumer" on Comedy Central and the upcoming release of the movie she wrote and stars in, "Trainwreck."
But, aside from her impressive chops as one of our favorite funny women, Amy is steadily becoming a beloved trailblazer for female rights.
Here are just a few ways she's making her mark as a leader:
She is entirely self-aware, doesn't put up with bullsh*t and is fearless
One of the many things I love about Amy is that she operates on a total "no bullsh*t" point of view, which is hilariously present in her humor and the way in which she talks about herself and her life.
She isn't afraid to talk about her lowest moments, flaws or shortcomings in a way that screams with both comedy and stark acceptance. It's an undeniably admirable trait within a society that often casts a judgmental eye on such behavior.
She's the girl who will say what we are all thinking, but don't have the balls to actually talk about. In that sense, she is a fearless funny woman who's making waves in an industry typically obsessed with a perfectly crafted appearance and demeanor.
Amy refuses to play by those rules because she makes her own.
Amy may not outwardly claim to be a feminist and she doesn't have to; her refreshing take on comedy and celebrity does more than enough to show where she truly stands on important issues.
She provides a fearless and refreshing take on real societal issues and inequalities
Amy isn't afraid to shine light on certain societal trends or commentary in a way that is both hilarious and entirely refreshing.
Her latest sketches from the season premiere of "Inside Amy Schumer" comment on "the last f*ckable day for female actresses (which doesn't exist for men), her own rendition of "Friday Night Lights" (called "Football Town Nights") and a One Direction-inspired parody urging women to embrace their makeup-free faces.
In this sense, Amy has clued into an untapped side of the feminist effort. She is using humor on a broad scale to bring issues to light in a way we can all get on board with.
This, at least in my experience, is very new. For years, society has struggled with the identification of a "feminist," and the stark associations the label brought with it.
By approaching issues through comedy, Amy diminishes any antiquated associations with feminism and instead provides a fresh approach to the issue.
It's not about feminism specifically; it's about blatantly calling out the inequalities that exist with a few laughs and well-delivered jokes, which leaves you thinking, "well sh*t, she really has a point."
Amy isn't successful because she produces a heart-touching campaign about real beauty or female rights, it's her ability to shed light on the real truth of the matter in the most brutally-honest way possible that keeps us coming back.
The big butts our culture is obsessed with? Amy has reminded us that they are actually just "fudge machines." Our love for the classic "Friday Night Lights" story? Amy uses her bold parody to take aim at the ever-hushed rape culture.
Her hilariously pitch-perfect boy band rendition parody of "Girl, You Don't Need Makeup," illustrates just how much men don't understand makeup.
It is this subtle success of understated social commentary that will make waves within a culture that can often be divided on such topics. Amy's humor allows us to approach questions many people would be too afraid to ask.
She urges us to develop inner strength and confidence in the most honest way possible
In a society undeniably obsessed with appearance and sex, Amy brings a new brand of badass beauty to the table. Instead of conforming to the unspoken rules by which most of Hollywood seems to abide, Amy openly discusses issues of weight, appearance, dating and female expectations.
If you ask me, this makes Amy the real girl-next-door.
In her speech at the Gloria Awards and Gala, hosted by the Ms. Foundation for Women, Amy spoke of regrettable sexual experiences, her developed understanding of body image and confidence and the importance of being one's own fairy godmother.
As I read through her speech, I found myself silently screaming with appreciation and relief as the feelings on which she reminisced were some I had experienced in all their horror.
Amy spoke of the way in which she struggled with her transition from high school, where she was loved for her sassy one-liners, to a college teeming with pretty girls and men who didn't seem to care about Amy's wit and candor.
As a result, Amy found herself clinging to the romantic idealizations associated with a guy in her biology class who was somewhat nice to her. She would overanalyze, feel the blood rush to her face and plan outfits for the next time she saw him. She wished he would call, but he never seemed interested.
Then one day, he did.
What happens next in Amy's story is cringe-worthy and relatable on an almost frightening level. Amy's crush, Matt, was drunk, sloppy and used Amy as a warm body. She felt faceless and disconnected as Matt distastefully mashed himself against her to no avail.
Amy was entirely heartbroken, until she had a certain revelation.
"I was looking down at myself from the ceiling fan. What happened to this girl? How did she get here? I felt the fan on my skin and I went, 'Oh, wait! I am this girl! We got to get me out of here!' I became my own fairy godmother. I waited until the last perfect note floated out, and escaped from under him and out the door. "I never heard from Matt again, but felt only grateful for being introduced to my new self, a girl who got her value from within her."
From that point on, Amy has felt strong and beautiful. She explains she can walk proudly down the streets of Manhattan. The people she loves, love her. She makes the funniest people in the country laugh. She has fought her way through harsh criticism and death threats for speaking her mind. She is a hot-blooded fighter, and she is fearless.
That is exactly what makes Amy the trailblazer we need for equal rights. She is fearless, funny, beautiful and the girl we all want in our corner.
Her appeal is unparalleled in the way we can both relate to and understand her, and the inspiration she provides to be fearless and exactly who you are is just what women need right now.