Watch This British Comedian Slam Thigh Gap Standards

October 21st 2015

Diana Crandall

British comedian Luisa Omielan doesn't give a damn what you think, and she doesn't need to.

The 32-year-old's debut comedy show, “What Would Beyonce Do?” sold out across the U.K. in 2012 and 2013, landing five sold-out runs on the main stage at Soho Theatre in London. Omielan’s follow-up special, “Am I Right Ladies?!” is doing the same thing in 2015. Now, she’s hitting stages across the world, and people are coming in droves to hear what she has to say.

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It was earlier this year at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in Australia that she made a joke about thigh gap that has since gone viral.

“Some things are universal, aren’t they? For example, judgment. We like to judge, don’t we bitches? We like to judge. We judge us on our hair color, on our accent, on our body shape,” Omielan said.

“Now my issues are my thighs, 'Oh my god, my thighs are touching each other,'” Omielan mocked. “Send me away to the circus and call it “Freakshow Bitch Whose Thighs Are Touching Each Other.”

Omielan's confidence permeates the stage, and she has no intention of slowing down. ATTN: reached out to the comedian via email to ask her why she incorporates body-positivity in her shows and what it's like to be a woman in comedy.

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ATTN: What made you decide to call your show “What would Beyonce do?” Why Beyonce, and not someone else?

LO: [Laughing] because not many people would come to a show called ‘What Would Cher Do?!’ Well me and gay men maybe. I love Beyoncé and we are the same age, so especially when I graduated and found myself moving into my mum's house at the age of 24, I remember thinking, 'Beyoncé is 24 and she is selling out O2 arena, I’ve just moved back into my mum's spare room and am trying to get a job as a post woman.'

ATTN: What gave you the idea to strip down at the beginning of your shows?

A: It's not really a strip, it’s a joke on the ridicule and limitations that women place on ourselves and society’s ideas of what is worthy or of value. It is also commentary on the fact that I am a woman performing. So in the first part of my show, I go look, here is my body, here is me in a bra, here are some jokes about how stupid it all is, please can we now get on with some jokes.

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ATTN: Where did you get the inspiration for “Am I Right Ladies?!”

Luisa Omelian "Thigh Gap..What Thigh Gap Bitches?!"

LO: It was difficult to follow up WWBD as that show was so loved and popular. But I recognized my audiences liked honesty and they liked fun, so it was a case of making a manifesto of all the things I wanted to talk about being a young woman.

ATTN: Did you expect your “thigh gaps” joke to go as viral as it did? Why do you think people have responded to it so positively?

LO: I think people are thirsty for normality and it's so refreshing to be able to laugh [at] how normal we all are. I had no idea it would become as popular as it has done, it's really hit a nerve which just goes to show how massive body image is as an issue. It's wonderful for me but it's also quite sad to see how many people suffer with body shaming. Its nice to be part of body positive.

ATTN: You’ve said before that men are invited to your shows, but they aren’t as often in the audience as women. Why do you think that is?

LO: Well the titles might put them off, but a lot of the men that do come are very surprised by how much the enjoy it, I love men coming into my show, I have had plenty of men of all ages absolutely love it. They like seeing a woman talk from her perspective on the ridiculousness of things, and a lot of messages I've had from men are wishing that their partners would believe in themselves more. I would love more more to come to my shows, just don’t be put off by the title.

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ATTN: Why do you think body positivity is important to talk about onstage?

LO: Comedy is a great vehicle to discuss everything about our world. Anything that affects me or my audience, is worth talking about on stage, be it body image or mental health or sexual behavior. Its helps encourage an active dialogue about topics that are worth discussing to improve our view of the world.

ATTN: If you could tell potential newcomers anything about your comedy, what would you say?

LO: Come and get your brain blown, it’s a party, and its fun but it’s a comedy show like you’ve never experienced, I promise you will love it.

Omielan says her self and audience-funded DVD "Am I Right Ladies!?" should hopefully be available for download next month. She's also in the process of writing a book that will be out next spring. She hopes that next year's live work will take her to Australia and the U.S. Check out what she's up to online here.

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