I am not a big fan of celebrity worshipping and for this very reason I avoid writing a whole post about an artist. However, sometimes – and just sometimes – someone like Lena comes along and makes your heart fill up with hope and all other fluffy feelings.
Lena didn’t become famous because she has the prettiest face or the hottest body or stared in reality show. In fact, she is nothing like most celebrities out there. She is comfortable showing how f* up she is and opening herself to the world as if to say “judge away”. And she has been judged in so many ways, criticised for being weird and misunderstood for not falling under the widespread beauty standards.
On the other hand she’s been accepted with arms wide open and loved by many and was considered by Time in 2013 as one of the most influential people in the world. At the age of 25 she had created, directed and stared in her own tv show (Girls) and at 28 she had published a best seller “Not That Kind of Girl” which became number 2 on The New York Times magazine best seller list.
1. She created a show where the main character is flawed, very flawed
Hannah Horvath, played by herself, is self-centred, neurotic and doesn’t have Gisele Bundschen’s body. She is smart and funny but annoying and selfish. Sometimes so selfish I feel like punching the TV. Her hair isn’t perfect and her makeup isn’t “on point”. She has money problems, insecurity problems but is also confident. Dunham created a character that is far from perfect and does not have it all figured out but she is a real flawed woman with real world problems.
It actually took me a while to like Girls because Hannah is extremely self-involved. However, after 3 or 4 episodes I was totally in love. Not because she only thinks about herself (I still get annoyed by that) but because she isn’t a woman that is perfect and says the things we want to hear. Lena did a great job not creating another shallow main character!
2. She is comfortable in her own skin
She doesn’t care that she may be chubby or have cellulite – she wears shorts and crop tops in almost every episode. In fact, she is half naked in every other episode!
3. She shows that it’s normal to be insecure
When watching Hannah and her friends in Girls you see that it’s OK not to be sure about what you want, where you’re going and who you’re going with. She shows a group of young women that are strong but unsure. She shows Hannah’s struggles and battles while trying to become a writer and struggling with her health issues (OCD – which Lena also has) and love affairs. Her group of friends fight and can be mean to each other. However, they care about each other. They are real women.
4. She talks about things other people would probably not
In her book “Not That Kind of Girl” Lena talks about her life and things she’s leaned without being afraid of opening up. To be completely honest I was expecting a bit more from this book. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy it – it was like a friend was telling me all these awesome stories – but I didn’t love it as much as I thought I would. Maybe because I had read so much about it so it wasn’t as exciting as it could be if I had known nothing. Either way one thing is true – she was scrutinised about a few things she wrote. She was accused of sexually assaulting her sister – which is not true – and defended herself beautifully. She was honest and it felt like you got to know her. Most people wouldn’t be as honest – but she doesn’t do what most people do!
5. She posted a picture of herself on Instagram in lingerie
I know a lot of celebrities do this but it is refreshing to see pictures of more normal female bodies on social media. Following Lena on Instagram and Twitter is fun and eye-opening!
6. She’s a feminist
Which doesn’t mean she hates men – she simply believes in equal rights. I say this because I believe a lot of people don’t know the true meaning of feminism. I love that she clarifies this and uses her spotlight to talk about important issues. See my post on feminism here.
All in all, I think you should watch Girls and read “Not That Kind of Girl”. I have yet to watch her 2010 movie “Tiny Furniture” (which she also wrote, directed and starred) but if you can, watch it too.
Most importantly, learn to love your flaws as they make you unique!
Thank you for being an inspiration Lena!
Lots of love,