Amy Schumer, you are our spirit animal, the latest crush in a spectacular boom year for woman crushes.
When the star of Comedy Central sketchfest Inside Amy Schumer recently re-envisioned 12 Angry Men as a jury of men deciding whether she was hot enough to be on TV, we shook our heads in empathy. When the 33-year-old comedian boldly twerked in that video lampooning America's obsession with bountiful backsides, we totally died. (No, seriously, we died. And then we revived ourselves, only to force our friends to watch it, too.)
Kids, you can keep Taylor Swift. A woman crush is the antithesis of bad blood. It's unashamed gushing over the accomplishments of our fellow woman, with far more emoji than we could have imagined in high school. It's wanting to elbow our way into Tina Fey and Amy Poehler's friend circle to bond over closing the gender wage gap and consuming carbs.
It's seeing Schumer for all her wingwoman potential.
"I love everything about you," one of Schumer's female followers coos on Instagram, where the comic has more than 400,000 followers. "You literally are the most beautiful hilariously gifted woman on the planet," writes another.
To crush is to want to borrow Mindy Kaling's pencil skirts and tell off street harassers with The Daily Show's Jessica Williams. And yes, that is us all over the internet posing like actress Anna Kendrick on the Pitch Perfect 2 poster.
"They're just like us!" we women whisper to each other. Which is to say that they're brilliant. They seem like they may, in fact, eat. When they vent, it's quotable, often employing an emphatic F word when one is called for. And when they refer to the female anatomy - which is often - they would never, ever call it a "va-jay-jay."
Our women crushes probably go to barre class or SoulCycle, or whatever it is that celebrities are doing now. But they never lord it over us; they don't want to be at the gym any more than we do. (Notable exception: Michelle Obama with those 35-pound dumbells, to which we can only say, "Yaaaaaaas.")
A decade ago, all pop culture seemed to give us in the way of female role models were celebutantes and a drab political figure or two. Paris Hilton was lithe and blonde and as tacky as a Palm Beach retiree - a woman whose primary contribution to society was encouraging vapidness. Gwyneth Paltrow was kicking around, too, but it's not easy to have the feels for a celebrity whose colon always seems somehow more perfect than your own.
Now, we have Amal.
Ah-maaaal. When we first discovered the ravishing creature that had ensnared George Clooney, it was hard to pick out precisely what it was that made her better than say, the statuesque lady wrestler Stacy Keibler.
Then we learned that Amal Alamuddin is a human rights lawyer. She advised Kofi Annan on Syria, speaks French and Arabic and somehow manages to look like a gazelle in a Giambattista Valli minidress. She's in her 30s. At the Golden Globes in January, she flashed not her bare thigh but a "Je suis Charlie" button pinned prominently, unfashionably, to her clutch.
Hate her? Never. We want to be her. We're as passionate in our love for her as we once were for ... what's his name, again? Oh, right. George.
Crushing might be explained by a millennial mind-set, which includes being more comfortable with our bodies and more inclusive, says Jeff Fromm, an author and millennial marketing consultant. Millennials don't shy away from being complimentary, Fromm says, in part because affirming others can feel like affirming themselves.
Modern women and men are also looking for authenticity in influential people, Fromm adds. "But they're looking for more than that. They're looking for uniqueness, meaningfulness and innovation."
Perhaps that's why the more these women speak out about the issues of the day, from racism to sexism to rape, the more they make us laugh as they're skewering the old ways of thinking, the more feverish the fandom becomes.
When Fox abruptly axed Kaling's half-hour comedy The Mindy Project this month, her fans raced to social media to protest.
"So many people in the press call her a curvy girl or a different girl, but I think it is refreshing to see someone who is so confident about who they are. That's something a lot of females really identify with," says Mehek Seyid, 24, a human-resources professional from Toronto who took to her blog and Twitter to protest the show's cancellation. (Seyid wrote too soon. The Mindy Project was quickly picked up by Hulu.)
For Seyid, Kaling isn't just an actress. She is the showrunner. She's a writer with a best-selling book; she's a Dartmouth grad; she has been on two major network comedies, including The Office. An ideal woman to crush on.
As for Schumer, she's only getting started. She's set to star in the Judd Apatow-directed flick Trainwreck, which she also wrote.
Yes, we'll drag our friends to go see it. Because Amy Schumer, we love you.