How Lena Dunham Is Saving Women

I recently watched a documentary called Thin, which is about a group of women receiving treatment for eating disorders. In one scene during a group therapy session, a 15 year old girl is hysterically and uncontrollably weeping, and through her tears is repeating over and over and over, “I just want to be thin.”

“I just want to be thin.”

This girl was barely 15 years old. And is already in rehabilitation for an eating disorder. And she’s definitely not the youngest to ever face such a battle.

Another woman said something along the lines of, “I know that I’m putting my life at risk by trying to be thin. But if I die, at least I got there.”

Okay.

There is something SERIOUSLY wrong here.

These women are KILLING themselves in order to whittle down to nothing. They would rather get so small that they literally disappear rather than take up more space than society says they should.

And this is where Lena, an angel armed with quippy dialogue and a yellow mesh tank top, swoops in to save the day. Now, I’m not saying that there have been no others before her to make incredible strides for women. I’m just saying that I think she’s taking it to a whole new level. She’s doing something that has yet to be done. And that is: continuous exposure to female imperfection. Ms. Dunham gets a crap ton of flak for the amount of nudity on her show, particularly when she’s the one partaking in it. People say it’s vulgar. People say it’s unnecessary.

But what these people fail to see is HOW EXTREMELY NECESSARY IT IS.

Women need to see imperfections represented in the media. We need to be bombarded with these images. We need to see that they are normal. We need to see that they are okay.

Women need to see cellulite speckled across Lena’s thighs and butt. Women need to see that everyone has a double chin at a certain unflattering angle. Women need to see that flesh sometimes jiggles when you walk.

We need this. We need it to become a normal thing. We need to reverse the brainwashing that’s been going on in our media for the past however many decades. We need Lena to strut around naked on television until it’s no longer a headline. And if you don’t think we need this, I urge you to watch that documentary and try to tell me it’s not an issue.

And don’t you even dare try to go there with the whole issue of health. Don’t you ever judge someone for the shape of their body and cover it up by telling them that it’s “unhealthy.” Because really, it’s none of  your fucking business.

I’m going to say that one more time.

It’s none. of. your. fucking. business. Unless someone is enlisting your help as a professional nutritionist or trainer, they do not need to hear your ignorant and uncalled for opinions about their physical health.

A favorite moment of mine from Season 1 of Girls is when Hannah says to Adam, “No, I haven’t tried a lot to lose weight. Because I thought I might have some other concerns in my life.”

We need to see that imperfect women are not only acceptable, but beautiful. That women of any shape or size can be sexy, dynamic, smart, interesting. And hey, maybe we can also learn that there are more important things than being beautiful. Maybe someday we can all learn to have some other concerns in our lives.

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2 thoughts on “How Lena Dunham Is Saving Women

  1. I love love Lena and everything she represents. I also just blogged about her. “an angel armed with quippy dialogue and a yellow mesh tank top” #quoteworthy. I totally agree with you that the media needs to portray women in a more realistic light and I love how people always play the “healthy” card: skinny is not the same as healthy and NO ONE has the right to judge people for being fat. Just as many people sacrifice their health to get skinny and impress people as people who sacrifice their health to eat good stuff and be fat. Personally, I’d rather fall into the second category.

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