Late night hostess Chelsea Handler called herself stupid in jest to a W mag reporter, but you know what? I still don't like it. Here's the context: Handler was talking about her unconventional path to success, and she said, “I mean, you hope for that, but you don’t actually believe that that’s going to happen.' Then she adds, with deadpan delivery, 'Especially because I’m so stupid.'" Was it just a random, off hand comment? Probably not, because in this Washington Post live chat about her book, Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea, she calls herself and her work "stupid" at least twice.Maybe I'm making too much of this, but it bugs that a successful, pithy woman with a hilarious New York Times best seller would make such an easy, dumb joke when she could do a lot better. It reminded me of something Margaret Cho once said in a blog post. She did an interview in which she jokingly called herself chubby, and later, Margaret wrote about why she regretted that:
I want to apologize to myself for saying it, because that is just wrong. I am not chubby – and to call myself that is to endanger the lives of millions of young girls who look to the media to define who they are, who are constantly checking themselves for fear of wrecking themselves, who are afraid to be thought of as 'chubby,' who don’t realize that they are perfect as they are, and it is irresponsible. I fear they will read this article and look at my body and be scared because it is like theirs, and they will then think of themselves as 'chubby'and learn to hate themselves more…. I take it back, as I must take back all the millions of insults that I hurl at myself without knowing it. I would never, ever say any of the horrible things I say to myself about myself to anyone else, not even someone I hated, because there is no one I could possibly hate that much. We must stop fighting the war against ourselves before we can truly start to love ourselves.
Women are constantly publicly denigrating themselves in a way that I think most successful dudes would never do. Chelsea Handler doesn't necessarily owe it to anyone to be a role model, but she owes it to herself not to continue with that negative bullshit. Funny Girl [W] Talk Show Host Becomes Best-Selling Author [Washington Post]