Rozette Rago—The New York Times/Redux

I remember being pregnant when Ali Wong’s first Netflix special came out. Not only was I doubled over laughing, but I felt like I had found my kindred spirit. It seemed like I knew her and she knew me before we ever met.

As an Asian-American woman, it’s so cool to see someone who represents our shared cultural heritage but also defies every stereotype. She is open about her sexuality, she boldly discusses her body and its many functions, she makes fun of her husband, she makes fun of her kids—I feel at one with her.

It’s amazing to see her work her magic on the audience. She treats comedy like a science; she knows how to tell jokes the way people want to hear them, and she knows when to be physical. It became such an iconic thing to see her thrust her hips and twerk or grind. People usually see pregnant women as helpless beings who can’t do too much, but she had this energy and personality and was funnier than ever when she was pregnant. Ali is proof that you don’t have to fit the stereotype of what a comedian should look like or say or how a woman should present herself. Women often feel this need to apologize or to make ourselves small. Ali may be small in stature, but she has the biggest presence. She assures women that you can be loud, you can be funny, you can be silly, you can make fun of yourself, you can be gross, and you can talk about the hell that is childbirth and you don’t have to be proper about it. She makes it O.K. for us to be ourselves.

Teigen is the founder of Cravings, a cooking website and brand

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