Self-Defining Through Late 2000s MTV

I grew up in what I would call MTV’s golden era, If You Really Knew Me, True Life, Room Raiders, Next, THE JERSEY SHORE!! I grew up hoping that some day a complete stranger would want to go through my room, find my weird underwear from my freshman year of high school that I still have, and then maybe want to date me, but probably not. I wanted to live in a house of strangers, and be known for the camera cutting to me as I’m rolling my eyes. I’d have a catch phrase.

My generation has grown up in a time of constant public self revelation, but all within our “brand” or whatever personality we had developed for ourselves. All of our social media apps are created with a sense of detachment, never taking ourselves too seriously. Frankly, I openly mock people who create their entire selves around who they are on social media. So yesterday I was told on one of my social media apps, Tinder, that I use for bits and finding people that I know and judging them entirely on what their bio says, that, and I quote “Your website is like not completely funny. I mean it just seems like you have no voice. Like OMG I’m a white girl that takes classes at UCB. Who gives a shit?” I won’t devolve into what other intrusive and rude this COMPLETE STRANGER said to me on A SURFACE LEVEL DATING APP, buuuuuut then he went on to tell me I would never win an Emmy, that I have never been criticized and that’s why I am the way I am, and that I’m not funny because I don’t insult people. So, here’s my issue, I’m not trying to put this dude on blast (his name is Ben incase anyone is wondering), but I feel like it is just a testament to not take yourself seriously. Tinder is like Next and Room Raiders all roped into one, and you believe that you are going to get something real out of me? No way. I posted a picture of myself shitting in a Duane Reade on my instagram yesterday, does someone out there really think that they can debase me via an app?

Maybe the root of the issue isn’t that I don’t take myself seriously, but it’s that yes, I am another white woman doing comedy. I certainly hope that comedy becomes more diverse, but me wanting to follow my dreams is not causal of systemic racism/classism/ableism. It’s symptomatic sure, because I don’t have to actually worry about money/healthcare/my constant supply of Kombucha. And here I am, another white woman talking about how hard it is to be a white woman. It’s boring it’s tired, and we just need to own up to how much a part of the problem we are. So, sign me up for True Life: I’m Privileged as Fuck, because I can’t control who I was born as. I can control, who I became, and she’s pretty fucking cool, and “very funny”*.

I went into the confessional yesterday on Snapchat about how I felt in the moment, and honestly I don’t think I would thrive on a reality TV show because I don’t care at all. I just think that it’s important in a time when how we present ourselves is so colluded, that we have a firm sense of self, and do not let people fuck with us. Because H8 2 BREAK IT 2 U but women and people of diverse back grounds are the future of comedy. Ok that’s all. Um, if they’re casting for a True Life: I’m Addicted to Probiotics can someone pass my info along? Thank you.

*Quoted by someone who is also very funny.

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1 thought on “Self-Defining Through Late 2000s MTV”

  1. Me likey. Always some other jealous woman or some slut shaming guy throwing shade on you. It’s not about origins or privilege, it’s about attitude.

    Your genuinely funny. The more you write and try out material in front of people the funnier you get. Social media is very limited performance even for jokes meant to stay written.
    I think the “fuck you” attitude is key, but the trick is not turning it into insult comedy. In fact, it’s more about using your ego and eye roll to bond over what our media age limits us to–a kind of observational humor that says “Dja see that shit?” And you go deeper from a surface that says “I mean I could give a fuck, but doesn’t it just kinda gets you (meaning “me and you” connecting) in the feels ______ etc.

    Like

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