Is Lena Dunham a Victim or Perpetrator? We Think Both.

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Lena Dunham is popular

She has become one of the most polarizing people in entertainment. Love her or hate her, love “Girls” or hate it, the amount of scrutiny she is getting is insane. On the one hand, she gets ruthlessly slammed for her politics, her body and even her tweets. But, are these reactions perpetrated by her flip-flopping politics and haphazard choices? Or, are people jealous of the fact that she’s a cinematic wunderkind liked by key players in Hollywood? Either way, people are talking about her, she has a Golden Globe, and she can wipe her tears on her HBO pay stubs.


Can’t a girl catch a break? Most of the amazing moments in her life are tarnished by criticism. She gets on “Saturday Night Live” but gets blamed for low ratings. However, people rarely comment on the fact that Jim Parsons wasn’t the most compelling guest despite winning an Emmy.

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She’s a girl with a normal body who has landed the cover of “Vogue.” This is a major step in celebrating normal women’s bodies and relieving some of the pressure to live to impossible standards of beauty. And yet, feminist website Jezebel declares a $10,000 bounty for unretouched photos. She is naked quite a fair amount to showcase real bodies on HBO. Yes, not everyone will revel in seeing the full Dunham. However, on another show about sex and a city … or the city, if you will, Kim Cattrall was naked all the time, and she never received the kind of backlash that Dunham receives. It seems petty to attack her so relentlessly.


As much as Dunham is a victim of increased scrutiny by the press, there is a part of her that seeks out attention. Either because of a lack of publicity savvy or flip-flopping politics, Dunham often gets her foot in her mouth. She posed for Terry Richardson, her best friend Audrey Gelman’s ex, but when he came under major heat she denounced him on Twitter. That’s a good move for the consistency of her feminist ideology, but makes questionable the integrity of her character.

After her appearance on “SNL,” she responded to a tweet criticizing her nudity with a molestation joke. It seems a little excessive to address haters on Twitter and to make light of sexual abuse, but if you’re going to do it, stand by it at least. Rather than taking a moment to defend freedom of speech for comedians, she deleted the tweet and apologized.


In a recent interview with “Glamour”magazine, she said she was considering quitting acting to give roles to other actresses. Then when asked on the red carpet if that were true, she said, “No.” It just seems kind of obnoxious to throw things out in the press and then send mixed messages.

As a young head of a show, she had tripped over some well-deserved criticism. Her series is about New York City and yet it features very few minorities … if any. Sleeping with Donald Glover for a few episodes is not a solution. It would be natural for her neurotic character to interact with countless different minorities and offend them by asking to touch their hair or accidentally bring up racism.

Say what you will about Lena Dunham — she may be irritating, pretentious and inconsistent, but she’s also intelligent, skilled and successful. She’s also only 27, and like other 27 year olds, maybe she’s entitled to just be a girl.

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