Lena Dunham Is Fat...
Or how popular perception of a celebrity's weight is stupid.
Lena Dunham is fat. She has a belly that sometimes during one of those Girls sex scenes she’s now – like it or not – famous for happens to have a little car wheel roll just above the belly button. O’horrible. How can she show herself on screens all over our judgemental planet? Help her someone. Please Hollywood with your endless beautifying budget, give her a year’s supply of Skinny Me Tea, and tell her that she “will be even more successful if she lost 35 pounds”. She needs to hear the truth so that she can adjust, conform and become just another starlet fighting an emerging (or full blown) eating disorder. As long as we can all pretend she is that skinny by nature (and lives on those trendy mini pulled pork burgers), it is fine.
Dunham is, by conventional (see: Hollywood) standards, just a tad too heavy for the entertainment business where skinniness is the religion, and fat is something that only sad people have. Unless then of course you are a successful (male) comedian who can joke about crushing a chair on a date with the latest blonde bombshell who sucked your willy during dessert. Or if you happen to be Rebel Wilson and actually get paid for staying “big and beautiful”.
That Lena Dunham carries a couple of extra kilos makes her sadly not only a target for people with a brain in the size of a pea to talk about her in a DEROGATORY SENSE, it also means Lena’s work will often be connected to the discussion about women and fat. Ugh. Does she get naked too often on the show Girls? Debatable. Does she have every right to do so? Fuck yes she does. And good on her for doing so.
While not a single girl, woman (or grandmother) I know particularly prefers to feel on the bulky side (which we all do after a summer full of Strawberry Daiquiris and kebabs), it should not be dammed unfeminine to have a little extra roll here and there. Neither should the body of a powerhouse female get any kind of attention while discussing her work. Unless she is making a living walking down a runway in wings, a successful woman is not her weight; she is her achievements. And she is the effect her work has on other people.
Dunham has, without a doubt, opened up another door to a world where women no longer have to feel bad about their bodies; she’s more then a roll of armfat. It should be said that if Dunham wasn’t on television, say instead working in a supermarket and playing Super Mario on her weekends, she would not have been her weight either. She would have been herself, not a number on a scale or a size in one of those unflattering dressing rooms.
Yes, a hot body is hot, and I won’t say that it isn’t nice to look at tanned babes at the beach (see: the entire world of Instagram), but all the “Lena Dunham is great even though she is fat” discussions are ridiculous. Body is not what the creator of Girls is about. Her work is about real life, and in real life some women have a belly, some have not and some have anorexia due to extreme pressure to stay thin.
I love Emily Ratajkowski’s boobs and bouncy butt just as much as the next person, and I get that she is the ideal woman in many peoples’ eyes. But at the same time, it feels a bit old fashioned to hold her as the ideal when the words coming out of her mouth are secondary. If we don’t smart shame her (not to say she isn’t smart, we just don’t really get to hear what she says that often), why bother fat shaming a woman who is clever enough to try and speak for a whole generation of confused women?
What makes Dunham into an inspiration is that she has a remarkably “I do not give a fuck” attitude to the people fat shaming her. Dunham knows that what lies beneath and the focus on her (discussable) wobbliness is a fear of successful women who are not following the standards put by men. The creator of Girls, which is pretty ground breaking in the way young women are portrayed on screen, is successful on her own terms. She has not used her looks to get a gig, she has used her talent and determination. And that is bloodcurdling as fuck for the men who would prefer to be in charge of everything from female consumption of razors to Spanx to green smoothies.
I guess that the truly gloomy part is that despite Dunham’s attitude that her weight really isn’t a hinder for success, or sexiness, up to this point she still has to deal with the attitude that she’s not “conventionally” pretty. Why not celebrate the good things in our fellow humans without having to talk about what isn’t perfect on a person; after all, no one is ever going to be flawless. Not even Barbie. And I can't wait for the day where examples the Google search above are a thing of the past.
By Nathalia Lindvall