Book Review

The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer

Amy Schumer Bares it All in Hilarious ‘The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo’

Maria Chance
Mar 13th, 2020 10:33 pm

What can be said about Amy Schumer that hasn’t already been said? After the release of her first book, The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo, not much. She really doesn’t leave much to the imagination, and anything there is to say feels like she’s already said it herself. And yet, with so much information, so willingly handed to us by the source, one would think that our curiosity would be more than satiated. However, Amy Schumer’s talent for turning a simple anecdote into a whole performance leaves us clamoring for more.

Amy states that, although The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo isn’t a memoirs book, she does promise to do one when she’s older and has lived more. Although, by the end of the book she’s spilled so much about the last 35 years that you can’t help but wonder what else she could possibly have to tell.

But the one thing that is clear is this: When Amy does decide to write another book, be it another random book or the promised memoirs, she’ll have no problem filling it up with brand new stories to tell. Because for Amy Schumer there is no stopping or time for dawdling. From a very young age, Amy has always understood that if you want to get somewhere or achieve something, then you have to put in the work. Ever since acquiring her first job at the age of twelve — sweeping up hair trimmings off the floor at a beauty salon — Amy hasn’t stopped working. She bartended and was a camp counselor, did small stand-up gigs eventually becoming the household name that she is today. Amy Schumer has a work ethic that would exhaust the hardest of working bees.

In The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo, Amy Schumer tells it all with that raw frankness that has become her storytelling staple. She has nothing to hide, nothing to proof and nothing to try and pretend to be. She lets loose and talks to us through her book with a candor that most of us would be uncomfortable with even when talking to our oldest and closest friends. She very naturally flows from one subject to the other, holding nothing back, revealing everything from growing up with a family that needed nothing, to losing everything, to her mother’s affair, to shoplifting with her sister, and her father’s struggle with multiple sclerosis.

Amy does all of this with the knack for humor she’s been so thoroughly blessed with. But perhaps what really stands out about this book most, especially in comparison to other books written by other comedians, is Amy’s ability to tap into her vulnerability and depth. In some of the other comedians’ books, it’s always felt like the writer hesitates or shies away from getting too personal. This is not a flaw in itself — the books are what they are, funny and personal in their own way.

But Amy opens up in her book and isn’t afraid to talk about painful moments in her life or to even get political about topics that might otherwise be considered taboo. When Amy talks about her mother’s affair and about losing her first real best friend, or even when she talks about the victims of the shooting that happened during a showing of her movie Trainwreck in Lafayette, LA back in 2015, Amy shows that she’s not just here to be anyone’s court jester. In a world where too many people walk around wearing masks, Amy writes about her life, her wins and her losses, with a sincerity that is not just refreshing but welcomed. Amy understands that relatability is far more impressive than pretentiousness and the one sure way to get you into people’s hearts and minds.

One could say that The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo is packaged as entertainment, but really it’s more of a tool used by an artist who realizes that the best way to reach people and to help them find confidence is to speak out about their own experiences. Amy Schumer understands that we live in a world where people walk around trying to fit a mold, sometimes because they’re too afraid of seeming too different, or for fear of isolating themselves. Amy steps up and takes it upon herself to be the voice of everything that we consider controversial. She understands that communication is key when it comes to building a more tolerant and unified society. She understands thoroughly the responsibility of using her platform to shed light on these issues—whether it be campaigning for better gun reforms or simply encouraging women to own their sexuality.

When a person develops a funny bone it can be due to a defense mechanism response — a form of survival, to turn all that is harsh and dark in the world into something more bearable. Whether Amy initially used comedy in this way, it doesn’t matter anymore because by means of The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo she shows us she’s a woman who knows what she wants and knows how to get it. She’s worked hard enough, paid her dues and has arrived at a place where she’s confident and needs very little to find satisfaction in life. She’s grown into her craft, and now, she not only uses it to find fulfillment but is also using it to give back and help others in whatever way she can. The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo is a great example of how one can tackle the best and the worst of life with positivity, passion, and, of course, always with a dash of humor.

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About the reviewer

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Maria Chance
  • Freelance Developmental Editor
  • Book Reviewer & Editor

A self-proclaimed hermit and potential cat hoarder, Maria lives in Virginia where she writes, proofreads and copy edits as a freelancer. Her longstanding love affair with books began when her mother would fall asleep reading bedtime stories to her. (Don't worry; she was sure to wake her up so she could finish.) Now, as an adult, Maria struggles with a reading vice that has often threatened the hygiene of her home. On the few occasions that her nose isn't buried in a book, she enjoys exploring new cities, having margaritas with her sister, and curling up with a book--wait, what?