I got to thinking yesterday about Lena Dunham and her awesome albeit infuriating show GIRLS. When GIRLS first aired it wasn’t the amazing writing or the new take on millennials people were talking about, but Lena Dunham.
Specifically, Lena Dunham naked.
There were way, way too many blogs and even news articles devoted to Lena Dunham’s naked body. This isn’t that surprising though, right? Chick gets naked and people have to talk about it. It’s written in stone somewhere. What was surprising, was the vitriol Lena received. People did. not. want. to see her naked.
They said it was overkill.
They told her to put her damn shirt on.
A couple of seasons later the outraged collective got used to seeing Lena Dunham naked, but grumbles still continued. After all, she was still getting naked.
I started thinking about this yesterday. Obviously, we could talk about misogyny and the way culture views women. But yesterday I wasn’t thinking about society, but my own reaction to Lena Dunham. I’m a woman and when I saw Lena I wish I could say that I was supportive.
At first I didn’t want to look either.
When the “hotties” on HBO come on, with their perfect tits and nipples and zero cellulite, I don’t complain. I’m happy. When Lena came on, though, I was uncomfortable. I grumbled too. Why did she have to get naked?
I thought about this yesterday. I thought about this, because lately I’ve been having trouble liking my body. I’ve gained some weight. I used to be very, very skinny because I used to be very, very sick. I could go in to how everyone used to compliment my ridiculously unhealthy weight, but that’s a story for another time.
I’ve grown to love my body though. I can look in the mirror and be happy. I feel confident. It took a while, but I got there. I actually am confident and love my body.
Then I thought about Lena and her body. I bet she feels confident in her body as well.
I considered myself. I considered if I were to see someone with my body on TV and how I would feel.
I felt like I’d been punched in the gut.
I realized if I saw someone with my exact body; small tits, cellulite, stretch marks and all on TV, I would be uncomfortable. I’d probably think the person with my body didn’t belong. I’d probably wonder what she was thinking getting naked with that body.
Yet I loved my body, right?
What the fuck?? Talk about cognitive dissonance.
Found on reddit.com, if you know the author, please let me know!
After yesterday I began to wonder. I wonder how many people feel comfortable with their bodies and feel they have mastered the elusive “body confidence,” yet grumble when women like Lena get naked. I wonder how many people are like me, thinking they’re beautiful yet still, either consciously or subconsciously, only acknowledging a certain kind of beauty.