It’s rare when a studio comedy sets out to create a message empowering young women and girls, but “I Feel Pretty,” the new film from collaborative team Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein, goes there.
Amy Schumer’s Renee struggles with common insecurities but her life is suddenly transformed when she awakens from a fall and believes she’s the most beautiful woman in the world. Experiencing an automatic confidence boost, Renee starts living her “best life,” snagging a boyfriend, a new job and an undeniable zest. It’s a film about self-acceptance and letting your inner confidence shine
Actress Busy Philipps, who’s married to Silverstein, plays one of Schumer’s best friends in the film. Philipps sat down with amNewYork to talk about the film’s message and how she empowers her own daughters.
How was it working with Amy and Aidy?
I had such a blast! Those girls are so funny and they’re longtime real-life friends. I’m such a huge fan of both of them that I thought I knew them, even though I didn’t [laughs]. It very quickly became clear that the three of us got along really well together and were constantly laughing on set.
The film talks about this shift that happens when we’re little that kills our freedom and brings out such self-awareness. How do you combat that with your kids?
I’m very careful about the things I say around [Birdie] about myself and about other women. Somebody said to me right when she was first born, “When you are the mother of daughters, just be aware of how you talk about other women and always remember to speak with respect.” I also try to talk to my girls about doing activities that make them feel empowered. We don’t really talk about the importance of appearance and looks.
This film made me think back to being an impressionable kid and digesting all of these unrealistic beauty standards back in the day.
Yeah, I think culturally we’re shifting a bit. I think people are trying to be more body inclusive in terms of ad campaigns in magazines. I find that that’s been a thing in the last five to 10 years. I hope this movie sends a positive and empowering message to girls young and old that, truly, confidence comes from within and if you can dream it you can be it and you can’t have anyone tell you differently.
What would you have said to your younger self going through the tumultuous times of adolescence?
It’s all worked out fine for me, so I feel like I made it through. My mom was incredibly supportive of me. She was always really such a strong role model so I feel like even at my lowest points in adolescence and teen years, I always had a strong woman in my life that I looked up to and I hope my girls will have the same thing.
We all curate our life on social media, but your Instagram stories are filled with real moments. Is there a line you won’t cross?
Of course, I have certain rules with my kids. I don’t post anything where they would be embarrassed looking back at it. Any time I post something about Birdie, I ask her permission and I also show her the captions. There are certain things that feel like common sense to me. I think it’s fine to show the trials and tribulations of being a real-life mom but at the same time I’m not going to post if my kid has a meltdown.
You were recently at The Wing, a space specifically made to empower women. How was that experience?
I hosted a screening of the movie and then I did a Q&A; it was amazing. There were 300 women there! The SoHo space is incredible and it was really inspiring.