Dunham already

I don’t understand all the flapdoodle over Lena Dunham and her HBO series Girls, and I really don’t understand why it’s such a big deal that Dunham often appears on the show undressed.

There’s some sort of effort to paint Dunham’s efforts “revolutionary” because she’s fairly average in appearance, unlike, we are supposed to presume, every other woman who’s ever been unclothed on screen. If there’s anything “revolutionary” about this sort of thing, it’s that they didn’t hire an actual beauty and then downgrade her appearance with the tricks of the theatrical trade. See, for instance, Charlize Theron as serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster; Theron was lionized for her disappearance into the role, when they could have just hired someone who didn’t need the extensive makeup job.

Dunham, I think, could have sidestepped most of the drama had she basically told reporter Tim Molloy to stick it in his ear, instead of this:

“[The nude scenes are] a realistic expression of what it’s like to be alive … But I totally get it. If you’re not into me, that’s your problem and you’re going to have to work that out with professionals.”

But she was evidently anxious to make this a Teachable Moment, which gets the kind of response it deserves:

A man who isn’t “into” Lena Dunham has a “problem”? He needs “to work that out with professionals”? As in, reparative therapy?

Look, I don’t know if Tim Molloy is gay or not, but to say that a man who isn’t attracted to Lena Dunham needs professional help?

It would be nice if both sides of the gender aisle (and the straddlers thereupon) would simply acknowledge the fact that zeroes are zeroes and tens are tens and both are few and far between — and most of us are going to spend our lives with someone somewhere in between, or no one at all.


  1. Charles Pergiel »

    16 January 2014 · 11:27 am

    I suspect she is fighting her self-image, just like every other woman in America (the world?), and McCain is just a self-centered jerk, just like all those other bloggers.

  2. McGehee »

    16 January 2014 · 2:56 pm

    McCain’s attention was seized by someone other than Dunham claiming to have gone into a “rage spiral” over Molloy’s question, which was in fact far from offensive to anyone with an ounce of self-perspective.

    Of course, self-perspective as a concept is received by actors in much the same way that the concept of instant obedience is received by cats.

  3. fillyjonk »

    16 January 2014 · 3:34 pm

    I’ve never seen the show but somewhere in my surfing I saw a chap (I presume it was a chap) describe her as “fat but doable.” (I’m guessing it is “Hollywood Fat,” aka somewhere between a size 6 and size 12, rather than “actual, doctor-is-going-to-discuss-your-health-with-you fat”)

    People ask me why I don’t go out more. It’s because I fear running into men with that sort of outlook on the female sex.

  4. jsallison »

    16 January 2014 · 5:15 pm

    I guess not having the faintest clue who this ‘celeb’ might be would mean that I’m ‘not into her”? I’m okay with that.

  5. CGHill »

    16 January 2014 · 5:21 pm

    She’s definitely pear-shaped, with maybe some orange peel peeking out from the hemline, but the same could be said of me, had I a hemline.

    As usual, I turn to the Daily Mail, which offers this set of public-appearance shots.

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