Snapshot from the Emmy Stage: Amy Poehler and the “Pageant” Girls

By , Columnist

I’ll admit it: I’m a total sucker for awards shows.

That being the case, it’s no surprise that last night found me flopped on the couch in front of my TV, glued to the Emmys (yes, Emmie was watching the Emmys... the silliness isn't lost on me!). Now, the Emmys aren’t flashy like the MTV Awards, or stuffy like the Oscars, but I still love seeing the people who bring to life the characters I’ve spent so many evenings with be recognized for their hard work.

Even aside from that, though, last night had its share of fun and touching moments. After all, The Canadian Tenor's pitch-perfect rendition of “Hallelujah” was out of this world, Jane Lynch’s vocal segment at the beginning was actually funny, and the two late night Jimmys tussling on the stage was somewhat giggle-worthy. But one of my favorite moments of the evening came when Rob Lowe and Sophia Vergara began to announce the nominees for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.

As usual, the camera cut to the first nominee -- Amy Poehler -- who was breathing heavily and nervously wringing her hands. When her name was called, she charged up the stairs to the stage and stood, continuing her over-the-top “I’m a nervous finalist” act. As you can see in the video below, when fellow nominees Tina Fey, Melissa McCarthy, Martha Plimpton, Laura Linney, and Edie Falco joined her, they all proceeded to hold hands like girls waiting for pageant results.

While the moment had its share of humor (Amy’s nervous theatrics, Rob Lowe’s quip, “We know you’ll go on to represent this body honorably”), it’s also true that “girl power” -- in its most adult, most supportive sense -- is a dish best served without cheese, and that’s something these women all understood.

I say this because when Melissa McCarthy was announced as the winner, the other actors on stage absolutely swarmed her, hugging and kissing her as she tried to get over the shock and supporting her as she nearly staggered over to accept her award.

I’m positive the stunt was meant to be funny (after all, when is a group with Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, and Martha Plimpton not funny?!), but it was also a fabulous illustration of women supporting each other. When any other person in that audience won, they kissed their spouses, shook hands with a few others who had ostensibly made their success possible, and high-tailed it to the stage. But Melissa McCarthy had it way better - she had a cadre of talented women to congratulate her and guide her towards the mic to accept the award she had earned.

Perhaps feminism is passé, and the idea of women being close because we’re women démodé, so calling this “girl power” has about as much oomph as saying something’s “da bomb.” Painful, right?

Whether you’re male or female, you NEED a professional support system, people who will raise you up and help you succeed. Guys have practice at this - it’s easy for them to be casually social and make allies at different levels. But for women, for whom potential allies can seem more like potential threats, this is something we must work even harder at.

If you tear people down, you’ll get nothing but torn down, yourself. But when you support others, it all comes back to you - who knows, do enough good and you might find yourself being guided to the mic to accept your own award.

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Emmie Scott is an English major-turned-marketing exec, with a passion for writing, humor, sharing knowledge, and "pink drinks." After hours, she started Are Toe Rings Professional Attire?, a blog for college grads and twenty-somethings looking to find their way through that daunting labyrinth called…

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