6 Simple Reasons Why Amy Poehler is Today's Feminist Icon

Amy Poehler is amazing for so many reasons. In honor of her birthday, let’s take time to go over just a few of the ways in which the comedian and actress' work has empowered women.

Poehler may be best known for her starring role on the show Parks and Recreation. Although the show might not be a fully feminist effort, there is no denying that Poehler's character, Leslie Knope, is a woman who knows what she wants, is uncompromising in her pursuit to have it all, and looks cute doing it. Some have even identified Knope, a civil servant in Pawnee, Indiana, who starts off as deputy director of the Parks and Recreation department before mounting a successful bid for city council against a rich male opponent, as a hero


Poehler's Knope has a collection of photos of famous and successful women on her wall, and spends entire episodes trying to break into the boy’s club that is government, which she does it with a big heart and a healthy sense of humor.


Before Poehler helmed her own show, she made a name for herself at Saturday Night Live, where she anchored Weekend Update and played strong women like Hillary Clinton and Katie Couric with smarts, heart, and sass. And that’s never a bad thing.


Poehler was also amazing when she hosted the Golden Globes with her best bud and former Saturday Night Live costar Tina Fey. The two did such a phenomenal job of telling funny jokes, ribbing celebrities, and looking fabulous that they've been approached about doing it again. Their Hunger Games/Life of Pi joke, which took on the difficulties of getting dolled up for Hollywood and embraced female imperfection, was one of the best extended puns I've ever seen.


Poehler continues to shine even when she's offscreen. YouTube is full of videos of Amy supporting women, whether she's giving stellar advice, or interviewing admirable women who can serve as role models for young girls.


Take her Ask Amy videos, in which the celeb takes questions from girls about everything from letting go to learning about love. The video above discusses how Amy found empowerment through her passion for film, and how she's taken on men as a powerful woman. She cites Sally Field, Gilda Radner, Cher, and Meryl Streep, and gives kudos to fathers that, “make their daughters feel loved and safe and strong” while pushing them to challenge societal boundaries. And that’s one of her lighter Ask Amy videos.


Then there's the web series Smart Girls At the Party, through which Poehler takes it upon herself to, “celebrate that great time in a girl’s life where possibilities are limitless” by doing a series of interviews and round-table discussions with exemplary women, including YouTube stars, skater chicks, archaeologists, and triathletes. Poehler hopes that, by featuring such a diverse group of women, she can show girls that they don’t have to fit into a certain box.

Have some other Amy Poehler moments that you want to highlight? Share and comment below!

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Jazmine Woodberry

Jazmine Woodberry is a communications professional working in nonprofit communications, journalism, and technical writing and editing. As a professional writer, she has had work published by Thomson Reuters, The New York Times Co., the Huffington Post, the Arizona Republic, the Chicago Tribune, Gourmet News to name a few. When not writing for work or for fun, she's easily found in a great hole-in-the-wall restaurant, on a night ride on her vintage Schwinn road bike, wearing scarves and boots during whatever season she pleases and indulging in all-day TV and movie marathons when she can squeeze it in her schedule.

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