December 9, 2008

More Love for Tina and Rachel

I know we don't have a woman president (I am I'm kind of over that) but aside from Barack and Michelle Obama, the other most interesting stories this fall have been about women especially Tina Fey, Rachel Maddow and Katie Couric (btw love the new hair Katie).

Tina and Rachel have been everywhere. The latest love for these two women is in Vanity Fair and Newsweek. A common through line in both pieces is how they are outsiders which I found so interesting and endearing and probably why I like them so much. Most of the comments about the Fey Vanity Fair piece has been about how she got her scar and weight loss (Yeah Weight Watchers!- you should sign her up as a spokesperson!) but here are some other interesting tidbits that intrigued me.

Fey’s friend Kay Cannon, a 30 Rock writer, says that Tina has remained self-deprecating even as she has glammed up. “She’ll always see herself as that other, the thing she came from.”
Fey’s acerbity comes from her mother (the Greek side), who has what Richmond calls “drag-queen humor—that bitter, extremely caustic kind of stab-you-in-the-heart humor.” Mrs. Fey played a weekly poker game with her friends. “I loved hanging out with the ladies, because they were very funny, and a little bit mean, and had lots of Entenmann’s products,” Fey says.

Her friend Damian Holbrook, a TV Guide writer who attended a nearby high school and whose first name she took for the gay character in Mean Girls, says she was like the Janis character in that movie, the sweet girl in an oversize Shaker sweater who didn’t run with the cool crowd or strut around to get guys, yet had the wit to burn the mean girls if she wanted to.
She didn’t have great athletic ability but played tennis, and, citing Kay Cannon, says that team sports breed “a different kind of woman,” with a “game-on, let’s-do-it work ethic”; she hopes her daughter will grow up to play sports.

And Maddow in Newsweek
All the ensuing hype and excitement about Maddow's rapid rise, and her quirks—the smart, self-described "butch dyke" who somehow broke into the cable-news boys' club—has masked the true reason for her success. It's not despite her differences from other talking heads, but because of them.
Maddow seems to have genuinely charmed younger viewers, a Twitter-savvy, podcasting generation that has hankered for someone more like them and delights in her use of "duh," her obvious intelligence and authenticity, and her ability to be both idealistic and skeptical about politics. She eschews vanity and insists she won't stop dressing "like a 13-year-old boy" when she can.
Maddow's partner, artist Susan Mikula, believes the "unlikely" label is just code for lesbian: "She goes from Stanford to Oxford to activism to radio, then TV? What's so unusual about that? Is it because she is a gay lady?"
The reason she and Mikula stay happily unmarried, says Mikula, is because "we both have a real fondness for the outsider part of our gay culture."
What Tina Wants (Vanity Fair)
When Left is Right (Newsweek)