ELLE Women in Hollywood Awards, Amy Schumer

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2015 has been good to Amy Schumer

Scratch that. 2015 has been very good to Amy Schumer.

But at the same time, the comedian has given a whole lot back. In fact, it stands to be argued that Amy Schumer has been even better to 2015 than it was to her. Because behind all the career milestones and box office records and awards nominations (and there were a lot of those), there were quite a few personal accomplishments and brave moments to marvel over. 

We love Amy Schumer for all the amazing jokes she's brought to our lives this year, but we love her even more for the role model she's become. For now, however, let's start with the moneymakers. 

No review of Amy Schumer's banner 2015 would be complete without first mentioning Trainwreck. This not-so-little-movie-that-could did so many things for the comedian—it proved that her brand (and her talent) can easily translate from the small screen to the big screen. It put her on the map as a big-time A-lister who can front a blockbuster all by herself. And it pulled in a cool $110 million. 

Most importantly, it set her career off in an unstoppable direction. She may not have picked her next major movie role yet, but her Trainwreck follow-ups have been all the more impressive still. There's the screenplay she wrote with Jennifer Lawrence. There's her book deal reported to be worth upwards of $10 million. She hosted Saturday Night Live for the first time (to rave reviews, no less). She starred in her very first HBO special (again with the rave reviews). If all that doesn't make for the ultimate Christmas card bragging rights at the close of the year, we don't know what is. 

Oh that's right: Her awards season.

Amy Schumer, Trainwreck

Universal Pictures

It all started with the Emmys and The Smoky Eye Heard 'Round the World. With charcoal shades like that, how does one lose? It was her second year being nominated for her Comedy Central sketch series Inside Amy Schumer, but her first time taking home a major statue (for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series, to be exact). Being ever so Amy, the comedian rounded out her first winning awards show with hilariously on-point red carpet antics (Ryan Seacrest will never forget that face stroke) and a painstakingly truthful quip onstage: "Tonight is about celebrating women in TV and letting the Internet weigh in on who looks the worst."

Preach, Amy.

And earlier this month, news came in that Schumer received her very first Golden Globes nomination, for Best Performance by an Actress - Musical or Comedy. Trainwreck itself also snagged a nom for Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy. To nobody's surprise, she reacted to the announcement with a completely entertaining throwback pic and a sarcastic dig, telling the Today Show, "You know, I really want to thank the Hollywood Foreign Press, but more than that, there are people that I want to say, ‘No, thank you' to."

But beyond all the hilarious one-liners and the endlessly entertaining late-night appearances (and they really were the best in the business), Amy Schumer needs to be recognized for everything she contributed in 2015 that had nothing to do with a paycheck. She's so often praised for her ability to keep it real and be every bit herself, and those are exactly the qualities that led to her awe-inspiring speeches and initiatives. 

For better or for worse, Schumer has become the poster child for body image. As much as we'd like not to acknowledge at all that she looks different than the average female celebrity, it's a glaring comparison that comes up constantly —and she's handled it in the best way possible with a mix of honesty, empowerment and the occasional self-deprecating joke when warranted. She's addressed both the unfairness of the way the system is geared to over sexualize women and ways in which she's been able to work on her own self-confidence. 

She spoke out via her Comedy Central show, with sketches like "Last F--kable Day" and "12 Angry Men," the latter of which featured a group of dudes debating whether or not she was hot, and earned her the aforementioned Emmy nom. She's been incredibly frank during interviews and speeches, dishing out lines like "I'm probably, like, 160 pounds right now and I can catch a dick whenever I want" and "I'm not going to apologize for who I am, and I'm going to actually love the skin that I'm in. And I'm not going to be striving for some other version of myself."

And most importantly, she's worked voraciously to make sure that other women both know that she understands what they're going through and have the opportunity to find the same clarity. One instance that sticks out is her partnership with Goodwill to bring style workshops to women who can't afford the team of people that Schumer herself has on her side. 

But the work doesn't stop there. 

The star managed to turn an incredible tragedy into an incredible pattern of activism. One of this year's many, many mass shootings happened to take place during a screening of Trainwreck, and Schumer has used that unfortunate connection to step up to the plate to denounce gun violence. Whereas some stars would simply send a thoughtful tweet or make a few interview mentions, she teamed up with Sen. Chuck Schumer to create a three-point plan to tackle the issue and presented it in hopes of enacting new legislation. This month she lent her voice to a new anti-gun violence campaign, so it seems as though she's not taking a break anytime soon.

Above all, it seems as though Amy's biggest cause of 2015 has been teaching her fans to...wait for it...be themselves. And to...wait for it...love yourself. She preaches such a unique blend of acceptance and realism that it fails to seem like preaching at all. Her brand is the Hollywood outsider who became the insider, and now she's doing her part to let us all in on the dirty little secret: That being an insider isn't all it's cracked up to be. And if outing that secret comes with a side of profanity-laced one-liners, then even better.

When Schumer explained a recent charity event to Maria Scriver during an October interview on Today, she said "Hopefully it will make everybody laugh and feel better, which is my goal with everything."

And that seems to sum up her landmark year better than any Best Of list.

Tune into E! News at 7pm and 11pm for more on Amy and her amazing year.

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