Most of the men — critics and not — who talk about “Girls” fall into one of two camps: There are the assholes and douchebags who populate a lot of Internet comments sections, who use the word “c*nt” frequently, and who seem to be doing their damndest to hurl as big a fat-shaming insult as possible at Dunham. They are less interested in talking about the storylines and relationship dynamics of “Girls” and more interested in talking about how “fat” and “disgusting” Lena Dunham looks naked. On the other side, most of the more respectful men ignore commenting on the Dunham’s nudity or body type, except to extol Dunham’s “bravery,” and focus more on the themes and characters of “Girls.” That is probably the smart move because it keeps them from inadvertently sticking their foot in their mouths.
But there is a silent subsection of what I would hope are progressive men (because I include myself among them) who are hesitant to say what we really think, and that is this (I say, as I inadvertently stick my foot in my mouth):
Lena Dunham’s nudity makes me uncomfortable.
RantOver • 3 days ago −
Refreshing to find an actual article these days, I thought this site had devolved into lists of pictures.
This article is great, and pinpoints exactly why Girls is so captivating, and why Lena Dunham’s is an important voice in television right now.
Although I would like to say that when discussing this show, it’s helpful to acknowledge the self-dirision inherent in its portrayal of Hannah. Dunham is making powerful statements in the way she presents sexuality and modern femininity, but she has a warts-and-all portrayal in terms of personality and behaviour, not just the female body. Hannah is intentionally portrayed as entitled, pretentious and flawed. And that’s something many of the show’s harshest critics miss.
As much as I love Tina Fey, her Liz Lemon is funny, successful, and loveable and her big relatable flaws (overeating, clumsiness) are cheap. She’s not far from Sandra Bullock in her 90s prime. We can’t really buy her as ‘one of us’, because it’s all too flattering. Hannah is not just an overweight girl with a perfect personality and a “voice of her generation”. That line was making fun of her inflated sense of self worth! She’s selfish, irresponsible, etc. But she’s also witty and cute. She’s a real person, a believable character.
I just think it’s important to separate the character from the creator. Hannah is not a hero, and she’s not meant to be. It’s Dunham who deserves the respect for her honest depiction of herself. She’s actively showing herself and her peers in an unflattering light to confront us with the truth. Lots of girls are overweight (not hideous, obese, gross. Just average) and lots of 20-somethings with college degrees who’ve never experienced anything outside of New York are entitled and pretentious.
People calling this show insipid for its characters or grotesque because of Hannah’s appearance are seriously missing the point