Saturday 21 October 2017

Amy Huberman

Amy Huberman's sweetness would give you diabetes, writes Donal Lynch

Sweet: Amy Huberman
Sweet: Amy Huberman

The thing is, it's mostly not even really Amy Huberman's fault. We really only have ourselves to blame. She doesn't force media types to dispense with all critical faculties and instead act as an army of specially trained PR monkeys, writing pieces with titles like '15 times Amy Huberman was totes a gift to us all'. She doesn't demand wall-to-wall coverage of whatever she happened to grab out of her wardrobe that day, with each piece linked to an independently observable economic syndrome called The Amy Effect. She doesn't encourage anyone to spin whole articles out of her mildly humorous tweets like she is the second coming of Chris Rock. She may well be as baffled as anyone about her relentless ubiquity. And she'd be insane to not try to turn the level of fawning she receives into a steady job or two. You would, too.

But, a bit like Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, our Aims currently has a few too many jobs for them all to be credible. She spoke recently about how the coverage of the rugby wives and girlfriends has sexist overtones which are to do with "putting women in their box", but there would be no doing that to Amy. She is in literally every box you can think of: actress, novelist, screenwriter, literary judge, shoe designer, silverware spokesperson, and whatever you're having yourself.

She has quite quickly broken into fields where others take years to get a foothold. In Ireland, her acting is received as though she were the second coming of Meryl Streep - we can't give her enough awards - despite the fact that she has doggedly remained a domestic product in that industry. Someone like acclaimed director Lenny Abrahamson can accuse the national broadcaster of "not developing young talent" but if the talent is young, blonde, beautiful and married to the country's reigning rugby god, then you can bet your ass it will be developed.

Amy is reliably a one-woman green light to any project she puts her name to, and there are so many projects. She's ostensibly an artist, honing her various crafts with all the lonely tenacity art takes, but, incongruously with that, she's also a social-media lifestyle queen, with zillions of followers, as overexposed and thinly spread as a Kardashian. Yet still, it's never enough to satisfy the Amy mania. She is presented as the ultimate woman's woman, a Taylor Swift-like leader of the pack, who still remembers to hashtag 'humble' and 'blessed'. It's no wonder she was recently rated as the most popular potential spokesperson for brands, more so even than her husband. You wonder if there is a future interview with BOD in the offing, where he says things like, "It was me, her, and the two-and-a-half-million women who think that they're BFFs with Amy in that marriage."

Of course, the biggest job she has, and her calling card to all the others, is her position as national sweetheart. In fairness again to Uberwoman, we could have done much worse on that score. It could have been a pouting soccer Wag with her own fashion line, or a UFC lapdog.

But then, would those women always look as offensively blissed-out as Amy? Her resting face is 'broad, satisfied grin'. Even the much lampooned Newbridge Silverware ad, where she walks around stroking cutlery and pondering the meaning of life, ends with her breaking up laughing at how perfectly everything has come together. Again, you want to be happy for someone else's happiness, and our mild discomfort with hers says much more about us than it does Amy, but at the same time her level of southside-girl sweetness could give you diabetes.

When you saw her with the mascara running down her face in Striking Out, it was extra impressive because you could appreciate the effort it took for her to not look completely thrilled for once. ("I loved crying!" she later told Ryan Tubridy, who responded, "You're very good at it!") David McSavage, a more sober voice of common sense, summed it up: "She's just too happy."

But, like, get over it, Dave. Because with Amy you feel we are now, as a nation, at a crossroads. We could either try to wean ourselves off the diet of '15 times Amy knew us better than we knew ourselves' listicles, and attempt to suppress the need to stampede to Penneys every time she wears something new.

Or we could just go all in with the Amy love. She could mess around with politics or activism, but when you're that big and that multi-talented, the next logical step is to simply start your own religion. They could be called the Hubertarians and would be a delightful and totally 'on point' replacement for Christianity. And think about it, guys: one household, BOD and God.

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