Amy Schumer tells Hunter McGrady that she 'rejects' media's emphasis on weight: 'It's so negative'

Hunter McGrady as told to Kerry Justich
·4 min read

As a model, designer and activist within the body positive space, I'm used to having conversations with people around me — friends, family, influencers and celebrities alike — about body confidence, feminism and even politics. With comedian Amy Schumer, it was no different.

The 39-year-old I Feel Pretty actress has been involved in projects that shed light on the media's portrayal of beauty and often challenge the impossible standards that so many of us grapple with on a daily basis. Her authentic efforts were even more apparent when we sat down for a video chat. And while we’ve followed each other on social media for years and have been fans of each other from afar, this was our first time getting real with one another.

"I'm turning 40 this year and it's like, I have different friends who are gorgeous actresses who like, are worried about aging and I'm like, you know, my looks have never, I've never gotten enough feedback that I'm worried about losing anything. You know what I mean? It's not my thing," Schumer admitted.

Within an industry that focuses so much on looks, public figures often get dragged into conversations about weight, aging and overall appearance without even staking their own claim on the topic. Adele is just one example of this, as the singer recently re-emerged into the public eye appearing slimmer, making headlines that had nothing to do with her career, but instead simply about her apparent weight loss. Schumer reveals that she had her own recent experience with unsolicited commentary on her body, which was actually linked to a health scare.

"For me, I was diagnosed with Lyme earlier this year, and I definitely like lost a couple lbs. And people's reaction of like, 'You're losing weight,' you know, like they're congratulating you. And I'm like, it's really just about my health," Schumer explains. "I don't know if I lose or gain weight."

I was raised to believe that talking about weight is boring, being constantly reminded by my mom, "There's so many better things to talk about." After starting my modeling career as a size 2 teen, my evolution into the size 20 woman I've become is constantly subjected to outside opinions and speculation. Truthfully, at my smallest size, I was the unhealthiest I've ever been.

Truthfully, at my smallest size, I was the unhealthiest I've ever been. Hunter McGrady

Schumer's own experience goes to show that when you look at someone and say, "Oh my god, you look so happy and healthy. You look so great. You've lost weight," that isn't necessarily the case. That could be really spiraling for somebody and that could really affect their psyche and their mental health.

"My problem with it is that focus, that emphasis on weight. It's just from the media," Schumer called out. "It's from what we're watching and it's all outward and it's so negative. And I really reject that."

That focus is also what led Schumer to film her documentary Expecting Amy chronicling her difficult pregnancy with her son Gene Fischer, who she shares with husband Chris Fischer. "I didn't know if I wanted to share it. Like we just kind of started filming it, which I think was probably a defense mechanism because I got so sick," Schumer says, referring to her hyperemesis — a condition characterized by severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss and electrolyte disturbance. "The reason that I did want to get it out there was to show that pressure that's on women and the reality of [pregnancy] it can go."

Schumer shows just as much authenticity in the HBO Max special as she does on her social media on a daily basis, dealing with the highs and lows of carrying her first child while watching her body change and experiencing some health complications as a result.

"I do think there is something with some women and their pregnancies that there is this pride of like, it's a little spider belly and the rest of me is still [small]," Schumer says. "Ok, well, here's how it went for me. And I'm really annoyed like I could tell that people they wanted you to be like 'I'm pregnant but I'm fine.' They want that from you. They want you to shake it off."

Her ongoing honesty about the struggles that she faced while being pregnant and later going through IVF remind me of my own openness on my platform — about different topics but with the same desire to share personal experiences for the sake of relating to others out there.

As just one of Schumer's 10.4 million Instagram followers myself, I feel less alone through the empowering messages that she shares while simply talking about her own life. At the very crux of a person, we all want the same thing, we all want to be heard, we all want to be accepted and, especially as women, we all want to know that we are all worthy.

Video produced by Katarina Vasquez

Read more from Yahoo Life:

Want lifestyle and wellness news delivered to your inbox? Sign up here for Yahoo Life’s newsletter.