When Lena Dunham stepped on the scene as the star/writer/director of the HBO series Girls, a lot of jaws dropped to the floor. For one dumb reason: The young and ambitious auteur isn't conventionally attractive. (Not even as conventionally attractive as the original HBO City Girl, Sarah Jessica Parker, who men seem to love to hate.) And now that Girls is kicking off its second season, the floodgates have opened again for Lena to get a tongue-lashing -- or pen-lashing to be more precise. Not for her show, but for her body.
Case in point: In today's New York Post, writer Linda Stasi attempts to review Girls season 2, but only manages to rip Lena for her "giant thighs, a sloppy backside, and small breasts," of which she claims Lena is "compelled to show all." And that's just the beginning of her contempt for our unlikely heroine ...
Stasi goes on to say Lena's appearance is "a boon for the out-of-shape, and perhaps a giant economic loss for high-end gyms." She can't seem to wrap her head around the fact that "Adam as well as another man are now obsessed with [Lena's character, Hannah] and can't get enough of her blobby body" or the other fact that "the gorgeous Marnie is the one who is now totally unlucky in love." Wow. Is this woman utterly clueless or what?
The whole point of what Lena's trying to do is shatter the tired, PhotoShopped mold. To challenge what this critic is obviously grappling with -- the idea that real women's bodies are a foreign concept to pop culture, so we're more accustomed to and delusionally comfortable with what Stasi calls "the TV world of anorexic actresses with fake boobs." Lena Dunham's smaller breasts, bigger thighs, flabby tummy in all of its glory are all a brilliant assault on a totally fake, false ideal of beauty and normalcy we've been spoon-fed for decades! It really is more groundbreaking the more you think about it.
It may be too much for someone like Linda Stasi to handle, but the more people start seeing more seriously real-looking women like Lena on TV, maybe we won't have to worry about so many "Girls" and women suffering from eating disorders and poor body image. And for that, Lena deserves more than a standing ovation.
How do you feel about Lena Dunham flaunting her unconventional body on Girls?
Image via HBO