List #185: Why I Admire Lena Dunham

I watched the Golden Globes tonight mostly because I have a strong desire to be friends with both Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. And also because I like to gawk at beautiful dresses I'll probably never have an excuse to wear in my own life. I have a strong desire to see a lot of the films nominated, but my attention span doesn't allow me to sit for movies very often. I like to be doing multiple things at once and television is a better medium for perpetual multi-tasking.

So really, it should come as no surprise that I get most excited about the TV portion of the night. And when Lena Dunham won all of her awards for Girls, I eagerly shouted my praise (even though I think Amy Poehler always gets robbed).

Obviously Girls is a polarizing show. In fact, I HATED it until I was past episode three. So many of the characters are whiny, too spoiled, too lazy, and occasionally too vapid to find anything redeeming right away. But I got hooked, and found myself relating to Girls characters more than I ever thought possible considering my parents could only afford to support me floating around in my 20s in their wildest dreams. I believe in hard work, and putting forth effort, and not being a total jackass. But I also believe that sometimes it has hard to get ahead. And because Lena Dunham can write about this oh so well, and so much more, I am a fan.

  • Lena Dunham is a liberal arts-educated woman. In fact, she went to Oberlin College. A small school in Ohio that is comparable to my own Alma mater. In fact, they are even in the NCAC together. This alone make me tweet her with the hashtags that reflect liberal arts love. And make me convinced if we were ever to meet, we'd have a lot to talk about and a lot in common.
  • She may be a fan of Taylor Swift but she doesn't think she'd be able to date a Republican. 
  • She writes about relationships as a young, educated woman in a very realistic way. Girls is nothing like Sex and the City and thank goodness. Life (for most of us) isn't about bouncing from guy to guy and buying ourselves shoes that cost a few hundred dollars when we get depressed. For most of us, it's being hung up on guys who are bad for us, it's about learning how to walk away from damaging relationships, and trying to forget about the person who has a grip on our minds and hearts. It's about nights on the couch with Cheez-Its and bad TV when we're feeling down because going out costs money. It's about trying to find the one who is good for us, by way of a few that aren't.
  • And though I do think the characters in Girls would stop their whining and try a little harder to get jobs, stop living off trust funds and parents, the idea that it's hard to find your way in the world is also pretty true here. I myself milled around for 5 years before finally realizing the profession I was in wasn't right for me. I wasn't ever happy about my career choices during these years (well except for that year in Greece) but I just didn't know what I should be doing. Mix it with a bad economy, and I can understand how frustrating and crushing it must feel to try and be accomplished and do what you love at the same time. Lena is able to write and show it is to feel two steps behind and lost a good chunk of the time.
  • When Bill Clinton took the stage at the Golden Globes not only was she on her feet, but she had the biggest Squee face one could imagine. I would have that face if Bill Clinton ever walked into any room I happened to be sitting in too.
  • She is not afraid to embrace the body she has. She's often nude in Girls, she has spoken up about her body, she gets trashed for her red-carpet choices. She's just herself. And believe me, when i was in my mid-20s I would have found this very hard to do. It took a lot of grief and sadness in my life to full turn around and embrace my curves. 
  • Also, she thinks Jennifer Lawrence is hot.

So you may not like the show, and I get it, it's not for everyone. But in the very least, admire the strong, independent, intelligent woman who is making it. 

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