If there’s one thing you can always rely on Jenny Slate for, it’s honesty. Even when the comedian is being complimented, she never misses an opportunity to make her own authentic voice heard.
Duringa recent Q&A with New York Times Magazine, Slate was asked about some of her peers in the entertainment industry. The interviewer pointed out that the Landline star is often grouped with other actresses like Broad City’s Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson, and GIRLS’ Lena Dunham, and asked Slate whether she felt like that was an accurate comparison. It’s clear from the phrasing that the interviewer intended for it to be a compliment, and in a lot of ways, it is. Both Broad City and GIRLS were and are extremely important, critically-acclaimed shows both by and for women, and Slate doesn’t have a negative word to say about them. But at the end of the day, the only thing that really connects those shows and those women is their shared anatomy, and Slate doesn’t hold back from expressing that.
"It’s lovely to be put into a group with these women," she told the magazine. "I also don’t think that we’re very similar other than that we’re women and we all have vaginas and we don’t seem to be very scared of that. It’s annoying to be oversimplified."
She carefully and skillfully walks that line between asking to be valued for her own contributions and individuality without devaluing the contributions and individuality of other women in the industry. She doesn’t need to tear them down to build herself up, and their success has nothing to do with hers. In fact, the only person responsible for her success is Slate herself — a fact that she needs reminders of all the time, as she acknowledges later in the interview:
“In my weaker times, I tend to act like it’s either magic that made me be the person that I am or that it’s just sort of a haphazard chain of events and, the fact is, that I’ve loved myself on purpose during times when it was really difficult to do that.”
No matter what level of success you’ve achieved, you didn’t get there by accident, and if you’re a woman, there’s a good chance you forget that fact on occasion. But loving yourself and pushing forward in those tough moments is the sort of self-care that’s both hugely important and often invisible from the outside, so good for Slate for pointing it out.
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