Amy Poehler is another in a band of inspiring strong female role models who encourage women to become independent and learn to overcome and disregard opposing forces in our society. Although she is often lumped together with the other half of a famous comedic duo with long time friend and fellow “Saturday Night Live” alum Tina Fey, Poehler has proved time and time again that she can also stand on her own. She is an incredibly talented actress, comedian, writer, and producer of her own wildly popular NBC show, “Parks and Recreation,” and through her success and influence on millions of viewers worldwide, she promotes female empowerment in her own signature style — there is no other way to put it — “Girl Power.”

 

Although the feminist standpoint is not an earth-shatteringly controversial stance to take in the public sphere, women who voice their opinions strongly and unapologetically in the media, or in any position of power, really, tend to be passed off as overbearing or “mean.” Poehler is unique in that she has completely avoided the pitfall of feminists who dare to publicize their views in public, and has maintained her reputation as one of the sweetest and down-to-earth individuals in Hollywood. By all accounts, Poehler is an extremely nice person; she is inevitably prone to falling subject to the adoration and undying love of anyone who is fortunate enough to meet her because of her irresistible charm and overall likability. This is a given. However, she can also assert her power when necessary, proving that a woman can be warm and friendly without being a pushover and strong and assertive without being labeled the universal word for strong women — “bitchy.”

 

In Fey’s autobiography, there is a chapter about Poehler titled “I Don’t Care If You Like It.” In it, Fey talks about how the two came to know each other and how their friendship was ultimately cemented. It perfectly sums up what Poehler is all about and explains her take on feminism that hasn’t changed since this exchange happened however many years ago: Poehler and Fey were participating in a “read through” with the writers during their time together at “SNL,” and ideas were being tossed around as all the writers joined together to pitch their ideas to form sketches. Poehler did something that seemed “unladylike,” and when young SNL star at the time, Jimmy Fallon, in a joking voice squealed “Stop that! It’s not cute! I don’t like it!,” Poehler turned on him and with the dead serious stare of a hawk claiming its prey said, “I don’t f***ing care if you like it,” and proceeded to joke around as if nothing had happened. This, claims Fey, is the moment when she knew that Poehler was not your stereotypical female secondary character only there to bolster the male lead. She knew that Poehler meant business: “She was there to do what she wanted to do and she did not fucking care if you like it.”

 

This mentality is what has carried Poehler to the success she has achieved today. She now claims the title as a writer, producer, and star of one of the most popular and hilarious shows on television which features one of the best female characters of all time (Leslie Knope on “Parks and Rec”), a working mother of two, an outspoken female activist, and one of the nicest people in Hollywood. Now that she has achieved all of these impressive feats, she is continuing to use her influence to change the way people think and discuss the topic of feminism, and encourage young girls to follow suit, leading by example and using one of many positive feminist outlets “Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls” (amysmartgirls.com) to promote female empowerment.

 

Keep an eye out for Poehler’s latest work: her new comedy show on Comedy Central, “Broad City,” which just finished its first season, the final season of “Parks and Recreation,” and a much-anticipated autobiography, titled “Yes Please,” to be released October 28.

 

What do you think of Amy Poehler? Voice your undying love in the comments below or find me on Twitter @JenksUOhMeASoda