Oh, for Pete’s sake, we’ve already told you that Lena Dunham isn’t fat. It’s common knowledge at this point that she’s always in some state of undress on Girls, which airs on HBO, where it’s practically a requirement for shows to have a fair amount of nudity. So why, why, why, is there repeated body snarking when it comes to this woman?
It seems the reason people are offended by her body this week is because of the most recent episode of Girls, where Dunham’s character Hannah finds herself spending the weekend with a sexy, older doctor played by Patrick Wilson where they have sex and play a game of topless ping pong. I thought the comments were bad when it was announced that Wilson would be guest starring on the show, but since the episode has aired, people have gotten totally vicious. My personal favorites of the comments are both from the comments section from Gawker’s episode recap. bobthelob had this to say:
“The most indicative episode yet of Lena Dunham’s disconnect with reality: that a handsome 42 year-old doctor would look at her twice, without vomiting. Her nakedness is over-the-top and gross, and now bordering on fetishism.”
Isn’t that just so charming? Now, while ParahSalin’s comment isn’t quite as nasty, it still managed to piss me off a great deal:
“I’m happy for Lena Dunham that she’s comfortable with her body, but I’m not comfortable with her body at all. Is she contractually bound to show me her body in every single episode?”
Oh wait…I see what the problem is now, bob and Parah aren’t necessarily upset that Dunham is running around naked on TV; they’re upset because Hollywood has taught us that women are supposed to look a particular way; and Dunham does not fit the mold. Dunham actually looks like most women I encounter on the street, the same women you probably encounter on your streets as well.
As I’ve said before, it shouldn’t be so shocking to see Dunham nude on TV–her body type is fairly common. You have probably seen women like her nude in real life, but since they aren’t on national television, perhaps it hasn’t registered with you that there’s something “weird” about it. Perhaps people are also throwing their insecurities onto not just Dunham, but people like Melissa McCarthy and Adele as well. We’ve been taught that women above a certain size aren’t meant to be acknowledged–so how dare Adele be a great singer that has the nerve to perform on live television, how dare Melissa McCarthy be a bankable movie/TV star, how dare Lena Dunham be in her twenties and accomplish more in her career now than most people have in their entire working lives!
Notice I also called out their talents–it isn’t just insecurities about body size that get thrown on these women, it’s insecurities about other things as well. It’s just easier to talk shit about appearance as that’s what people see first, especially as our society has such a rigid standard of what women are “supposed to” look like. I hope this is the last time I have to say this, but body snarking doesn’t accomplish anything. If you’re frustrated about your career, don’t talk shit, aspire to do the same or better than they do! You’ll feel more accomplished and better in the long run. Body snarking only makes you feel better for a few seconds.
But while we’re on the subject, let me point out that for years, we’ve had to endure television shows where thin, conventionally gorgeous women are paired up with men who are considered slobs because they’re overweight and nothing negative has really been said about it. I know what you’re thinking–it’s mostly cartoons on Fox that do this. It’s live television as well–Mark Addy and Jami Gertz were a couple on Still Standing for six seasons, we had nine years of Kevin James and Leah Remini on The King of Queens, and lest we forget where this whole thing started–Jackie Gleason and Audrey Meadows on The Honeymooners back in the fifties (although I’m sure if the show were on today, Meadows’ body type would be under fire the same way Dunham’s is) So why can’t we have pairings where someone like Dunham gets paired with someone “hot” like Wilson? It’s–gasp–common for women over a certain dress size to find a romantic partner, not just men!
I’m tired, LivLunatics. I’m tired of hearing the shit talk about Lena Dunham’s body, are you? Her body is not unique. When will Hollywood learn?