Amy Poehler’s Best Advice for Girls

Amy Poehler turns 41 today, and while it would be easy to celebrate her achievements as one of television’s most delightful people or comedy’s shining stars, how’s about a doff of the cap to Amy Poehler, dispenser of sage wisdom to teenage girls? Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls is a YouTube channel featuring interviews, profiles, and advice; much of the latter is dispensed on the regular “Ask Amy” feature, informal webcam videos in which Poehler answers questions posed by the channel’s viewers. The “Ask Amy” videos are charming glimpses into her life, often shot in her Parks & Rec trailer or home after a hard day’s work (as evidenced by the low light, hushed voice to keep from waking her kids, and even, occasionally, her pajamas), and they’re frequently very funny (“It is Alfred Lord Tennyson who said it is better to have loved and lost than never loved at all, and if you’re not familiar with Alfred Lord Tennyson, he is a very famous, um, hip-hop producer, you should check out his work”). But the advice offered is heartfelt and genuine, so we combed through the 28 “Ask Amy” videos thus far and selected the best bit of advice from each.

Love

“Vulnerability is the key to happiness. Vulnerable people are powerful people. Opening up your heart and sharing it means that you’re going to get so much love in your life — and it’s the way to true connection and real purpose and meaning in your life, in my opinion… Celebrate the idea that you’re in love, or you love the idea of being in love, and you’re not afraid of the idea of being in love… The alternative is just too sad. The idea of not reaching out, and swinging big.” [via]

Expressing your love

“Opening your heart and being courageous and telling people that you care about them or like them or that you think they’re special only makes you a better, bigger, kinder, softer, more loving person, and only attracts more love into your life.” [via]

Loving yourself

“You become more attractive when you love yourself. You attract the right things when you have a sense of who you are.” [via]

News and debate

“Education is power, it changes your whole life, it can create a life for yourself. So the more educated you are, the more you learn about what you care about, you become a more caring person. And if you can speak about what you care about to a person you disagree with, without denigrating or insulting them, then you may actually be heard. And you may even change their mind, or they may change yours.” [via]

Quiet and solitude

“Take quiet moments when you need them. Tell your friends that you need them and not to read so much into them. And if your friends don’t understand, that’s okay. The way that they deal with things and feel things is different than the way you do, and that is what makes you all so special.” [via]

Struggling

“We like to do things that we’re good at. When we’re younger, we’re drawn to things that we do well because it helps us figure out what kind of person we want to be.” [via]

Apologizing

“Apology is not defeat. It’s not admitting that someone else is right. It’s just actually quite powerful. It’s showing that you’re vulnerable, and that you’re a supple person who can admit when they’ve made a mistake and therefore can also be trusted when they say, ‘I’m not sorry about that’ or ‘I don’t want to apologize for that.’” [via]