Lena Dunham’s body

A couple of days ago I read this article about the season finale of Girls.
The main theme is (supposed to be) the rom com type of storyline and finish
scene, compared to the rest of the season, but what stood out to me were
comments on a different aspect of the show.

“One of the more notable things about the season finale of “Girls” on Sunday is
that Hannah, the heroine played by Lena Dunham, kept her clothes on.”

“For once Lena Dunham’s unflinching, even defiant flaunting of physical
imperfection was not on full display.”

“Unlike her friends Hannah doesn’t even have good looks or a flattering wardrobe…”
“Some were shocked and a little repelled by her exhibitionism…”

So she shows too much skin. Not because nudity in itself is offensive, but
because Lena Dunham is “frumpy and overweight” (?). She’s an exhibitionist.
A political one! Because apparently “flaunting of physical imperfection”
– i.e. showing a perfectly normal body on TV – means your show is exploring
cellulites. You know, the way it explores unpaid internships and sex. Except
some of the stories are actually about unpaid internships and sex, whereas
cellulite simply isn’t covered up (on one person at least). But hey, I guess Girls
explores trees, feet and concrete too, in it’s own not-really-exploring kind of
way. And beards are definitely a major theme is this series – just look at all that
defiant flaunting of facial hair!

The fact that any time a normal looking women dares show herself – including
what’s attached to, and below, her head – on TV it has to be a statement of some
sort, or at least seen as a bit provocative, makes me kind of pissed (According
to the American meaning of the word – I don’t get drunk every time someone
makes a sexist remark on an actress’ looks. That would just make me an
alcoholic, really fast.) Even when the women are applauded for it, they’re
applauded for being defiant, cheeky, brave, vulgar and any other expression to
underline the fact that this cool thing they’re doing is also kind of weird, since
they look the way they do.

The first time I read the sentence that starts with “…defiant flaunting of physical
imperfection…” I thought it said “deviant”. And maybe that’s not so strange,
considering what the underlying message, in these sort of writings about Lena
Dunham and other equally “brave” women on TV, seems to be…

This is what a human being (eating cake naked in a bathroom stall) looks like.



Filed under Feminism, TV

3 responses to “Lena Dunham’s body

  1. I have a lot of respect for Lena Dunham. I am sure her positive impact on TV, etc. will far outweigh any of the criticism in the history books…


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