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5 Beloved TV Backsides Sloppier Than Lena Dunham's

By Joanna Robinson | Seriously Random Lists | January 8, 2013 | Comments ()


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In a completely vile and transparent attention grab this week, New York Post author Linda Stasi wrote some good old fashioned controversial, body-hatin’, gender betrayin’ words about Girls creator Lena Dunham. In her “review” of Season 2 (which debuts on HBO this Sunday, January 13th at 9 p.m.), Stasi concentrated her bile mainly on the physical appearance of writer, creator, star, object of your hate-fection, Lena Dunham. She writes: “It’s not every day in the TV world of anorexic actresses with fake boobs that a woman with giant thighs, a sloppy backside and small breasts is compelled to show it all…It’s a boon for the out-of-shape, and perhaps a giant economic loss for high-end gyms, especially in Brooklyn.”

Now listen, there are Girls defenders who write for this site. Every time we do, there are Girls detractors who feel compelled to slam Dunham in the comments section. That’s okay. Different people like different things. What is simply not okay is hiding opinions about substance behind shamefully hateful language about body image. Given that we have women starving themselves all over the place to be Carrie Bradshaw or even Robin Sherbatsky thin, is it not refreshing that Dunham feels comfortable enough to reveal a less “perfect” but far more realistic body to the nation? And if you’ve seen the show (as many people who hate on it haven’t), then you’d know that Dunham uses her body not as a sexually provocative object, but simply as an everyday fact. The point is never “look at me, I’m the hottest thing you’ve ever seen on television.” The point is “This girl, she does not have it together. Look familiar?”

To imply, as some do, that a woman with cellulite is not allowed to show her body on your television, is not only woefully antiquated, it makes me worry you’ve never seen an actual woman’s naked body. Some women are cellulite-free but most, including some of your favorite models, aren’t. The question you have to ask yourself (and the question I think Dunham is forcing you to ask) is why does this one woman’s body make you so uncomfortable? Quite often you’ll her detractors call out a jocular “Woah! I don’t need to see that!” But to call Dunham an exhibitionist is to miss the point.

The fact of the matter is, there are plenty of sloppier backsides to be seen on television. Mostly, of course, male. Are they in your face as much as Lena Dunham’s? I suppose not. But that doesn’t mean we’re not expected to believe these people are desirable.

Ron Swanson-“Parks and Recreation”: Ron loves bacon like Hannah loves cake.
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Jay Pritchett-“Modern Family”: This guy right here landed Sofia Vergara who makes Lena Dunham’s conquest Patrick Wilson look like an attractive jar of mayonnaise.
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Bobby “Elvis” Munson-“Sons Of Anarchy”: Kurt Sutter’s biker show never tires of flossing sloppy biker backside.
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Enoch “Nucky” Thompson-“Boardwalk Empire”: Much like Pritchett, Thompson trades on his power and financial advantages and has, as a result, landed at least three of the most beautiful women on the series. (Your Paz De La Huerta mileage may vary.)
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Louie-“Louie”: CK presents the most obvious comparison to Dunham. Is his body less repugnant to viewers because his self-hate is more apparent?
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Comments Are Welcome, Jerks Will Be Banned


  • minxy

    That header picture just made me think about squeezing the juice from mindgrapes.

  • the dude

    I hate girls because I think it is aggresively feminist, in other words, it hates men. And another thing is that lena dunham is a spoiled brat who makes millions yet pretends to be a poor misunderstood girl from the block

  • InternetMagpie

    "Aggressively feminist" does NOT translate to "hates men." Come ON.

  • Kip Hackman

    "Is his body less repugnant to viewers because his self-hate is more apparent? " Maybe? One of the reasons I find Louis CK so hilarious is because it's like he's reaching into my brain and voicing many of the thoughts I've had, including thoughts about his body. I haven't watched Girls, and while I respect the Dunham's decision to appear naked to millions of viewers when her body does not conform to what Hollywood considers to be attractive, it is a completely foreign concept to me. It is something I would not have the courage to do. So, maybe fewer people complain about Louis CK because his instances of nudity are followed by the self-loathing that most of us deal with. And maybe rather than being repulsed by Dunham's body, viewers are repulsed by the mirror she's holding up, by the fact that they would probably not have the courage to appear on TV naked looking less than perfect.

    TL;DR version: guy who watches too much TV and gets all his psychology from said TV tries to find the meaning of nudity on TV. Also, Louis CK was there.

  • BierceAmbrose

    Seeking deeper understanding of this still developing grrrrl power friendly-fire incident, I Googled "Sloppy Backside."

    Just ... don't.

  • e jerry powell

    Wait a minute. People are taking Linda Stasi seriously? Has Cindy Adams heard about this?

  • e jerry powell

    Hey, at least Louis CK admits that his body is flabby. Stasi can't go after that.

  • John G.

    I agree with everything you say here, but I wish you hadn't felt the need to use the phrase "fap-worthy". It makes my skin crawl, even if you're using it in jest.

  • That original article is disgusting.

    Listen, I don't watch Girls because a) I don't have cable and b)I'm not really interested in it. But the whining about the show is fucking ridiculous. You didn't hear this kind of shit about Sex and the City, a show which was about nothing but whiny over-privileged white women. It's exhausting. And criticizing it because there's a slightly imperfect woman in it? Jesus. What the fuck is wrong with everybody?

  • Jezzer

    "Sex and the City" was talked about, criticized, and mocked endlessly when it was on TV, and even more so when the movies came out.

  • valerie

    One of the things I always found odd about Sex and the City is that Sarah Jessica Parker's character had arguably the least amount of sex scenes and pretty much no nudity. I think it's amazing and awesome that Lena Dunham has so much creative control and STILL doesn't shy away from putting her character's body and sexuality front and center. It's part of what makes the show and Hannah so achingly relatable (I'm a girl in her twenties, bite me).

  • fartygirl

    louie's gingertits are the best tits on television.

  • L.O.V.E.

    Ok, so the wording by this professional writer about another professional writer was "sloppy" but I don't find the sentiment of the piece to be distasteful anymore than the subject matter of the show.

    That is because its a "warts and all" type of show that on its surface is about shallow, lazy young things who undeservedly think they have a unique and profound voice -- hey, I recognize that person -- but has the makings of something with much more depth.

    If the show is superficial and shallow, why does the creator/writer/lead actress almost obsessively set herself up for mocking and disdain? The character is uncomfortable with her body?, but the actress is not. The character is a do-nothing milking her parents?, but the actress is a self-starter success story.

    So "sloppy" is not the right word, but Dunham could have stayed behind the camera and had a pretty young thing play her part. And the girl with the sexual hang-ups could look like a model, and we could all go say "fuck-off" to this model for having "issues" when she has such a great body.

    In short, the point Dunham is trying to make (assuming I am getting her point) cannot by definition be made if she isn't (insert substituted word for "sloppy"). People like her have that body and that experience and its all less than perfect. It is the opposite of what we see on just about any show, which is all so very "neat" or "pristine" or "perfect".

    The Post writer gave this show a good review, correct? So some editing was in order, but I don't know about pissing on her paper.

  • Mrcreosote

    Sloppy Backside is my hardcore freestyle tubing team. We shred the local golf courses, public parks and Jr High enbankments. We're hoping to get invited to the big gravel pit for the tube off against the Backsliders and the Wet Willies.

  • Blah!

    "She needs to lose thirty pounds or gain sixty. Anything in between has no place on television." - Jack Donaghy

  • Erin S

    Not to mention her indignation over the fact that Hannah seems to have tons of guys wanting her (a whopping two this next season!) while beautiful, skinny, "nice" Marnie doesn't. 1. Has she watched the show? Marnie is just as much of a spoiled brat as the rest of them. 2. I kept trying to encapsulate my feelings about the idea that only skinny, pretty women should be depicted as desired by men, but just kept having rage seizures. Sigh.

  • Tinkerville

    I can't stand 'Girls' and I've said as much on Pajiba many times now. However, what Linda Stasi said is absolutely repugnant and reading that brought about flames on the side of my face. God forbid a normal sized woman have the guts to show up on our television screens and god forbid Linda (gasp!) has to look at her.

  • Candee

    Agreed...I don't give a shit about her body. That thought never came to mind. I just think the show is shit. The show. Not her body.

  • Enrique del Castillo

    I haven't watched Girls yet but I believe that if Lena Dunham was more "TV atractive" the criticism would be that she's too pretty or something like that; when people want to hate something, they'll find any reason to do so, it doesn't matter how awful or nonsensical it can be

  • Guest

    Yuppo.

  • Bert_McGurt

    "...are less repugnant than Sarah Jessica Parker writing banal columns while wearing designer undies."

    DROOPY designer undies. I've never received an acceptable response to how she was supposed to be this irresistible fantasy of a woman when her gitch don't even fit. Oooh baby, sex me up with those visible ribs! Damn, that razor-sharp pelvic bone gets me all tingly! Sorry my pants got hung up on your clavicle!

    At least Dunham can fill out her shorts.

  • lemon

    Insulting skinnier people doesn't make you any better than Stasi...

  • Bert_McGurt

    Hey, fair enough. Sorry for offending you. I can assure you that I didn't intend to insult actual skinny folk, just the people from Sex and the City.

  • ,

    What about homely people, like SJP?*

    *--Just kidding.**

    **--Not.

  • I take such issue with the word "sloppy." "Small" is beyond her control, "giant " is hyperbolic and shitty. But "sloppy." Sloppy means "she has an ass and is doing it wrong." She is sloppy and has not taken care of or tidied her ass to my television liking.

    Forget it, Jake. It's the New York Post.

  • Carlito

    And "blobby" as well as Stasi's conversion of that adjective into the collective noun "blobbies" to refer to people who look like Dunham.

  • foolsage

    Perhaps she has a wiping problem? Otherwise I agree that "sloppy", as an adjective to describe asses, is just, well, sloppy. It's also hateful and conformist of course. But most of all it's sloppy.

  • lowercase_ryan

    I don't dislike Lena because of her body. I dislike her because of her character in girls. I dislike her because she crashes her parents hotel room, passes out, then when she wakes up the first thing she fucking does is try to order room service!!!!!! GTFO!!!

  • elp

    You dislike the actress because you don't like the character she plays? Do you think Dunham actually acts like that in real life? Good grief.

  • poopnado

    Agreed. I dislike Dunham because she writes crappy characters. I actually applaud her acting skills. She is surprisingly good as Hannah (Girls) and Aura (Tiny Furniture). They are the same character (maybe Hannah is a tad more likable), but still.

  • lowercase_ryan

    Actually I've read that much from the show is taken from her own life.

    But I'd like to ask how I should judge these people? I'll never know any of them personally, yet watching them is entering into a relationship of sorts. Why shouldn't I judge? I can't stand Jason Sudekis for the same reason. He comes across as a smug dick in most of the movies I've seen him in (not so much on SNL though).

    Who they are comes through in what they do to varying degrees, and I will judge them on that.

  • pajiba

    Man, you know who I hate? Bobby Cannavale. Why? Because his character baseball-batted a guy's head off with a shovel in "Boardwalk Empire," and I bet that Cannavale is JUST LIKE THAT.

  • John G.

    God, He was so scary in that role. Just talking about him like that gave me chills. Someone who may explode on you in any moment, but is totally calm is so freaky to me.

  • lowercase_ryan

    You saw The Station Agent, no way do you hate Bobby.

  • Carlito

    Or, you know, don't judge these people. You don't have to judge them, or anyone based on extremely limited perceptions of who they really are or act like. You're choosing to judge people.

    Watching them is not "entering into a relationship of sorts" anymore than you buying the painting of an artist makes you in a relationship of sorts with Picasso.

  • lowercase_ryan

    I get what you're saying, but can you honestly tell me you never link the character a person plays with who you perceive them to be? I don't mean to say that I think they ARE the character, that's silly. But if you only know a person for one role, as I did with Dunham before I saw this is 40 (which she was actually funny in, it improved my impression of her), then I think it's only human nature to make some association between the two. When you add to this that she has said some of the show is based on real experiences, including getting cut off by her parents, it absolutely tinted how I view her.

    Is that really so weird?

  • Carlito

    Yes, it is human nature to make some association between the two. It's also human nature to have logic and common sense enough to realize that this is a perceived, judging association not based in reality.

    Have you never talked to someone (actor, singer, not even famous ones) and realized that your opinion of them, which was based on limited information, was incorrect?

  • lowercase_ryan

    - No I have never had an experience like that, with someone famous. I have absolutely had that happen with non-famous people in my everyday life. Where you come to find out that there is more, or less, than meets the eye.

    - I admitted that I am aware of the separation between character and actor. In this case, for reasons I mentioned, the line between character and actor is somewhat blurred.

    - Next time you pass someone scary on the street, remind yourself that your reaction to them is based on a perceived, judging association not based in reality.

    People judge everyday, it can't be avoided. Every judgement you make is based in reality in that you are comparing it to some aspect of your life you can relate to. I think Honey Boo Boo's mom is an idiot because when compared to most people I know, she's not very smart. If you happen to be the scary one on the street, it's highly unlikely you'll perceive me as a threat when we pass. Every judgment relates to reality. and I have no idea why I'm still fucking talking about this or how it even relates to the price of tea in China.

  • TherecanbeonlyoneAdmin

    I was with you until it became about flabby (pardon, less than perfect) men on TV. Why not give some other female examples instead of "Look! Men can do it and they're sexy!"

  • JoannaRobinson

    The point was more men are allowed to do it and women aren't.

  • TherecanbeonlyoneAdmin

    Perhaps. But I find that more women make more derogatory body comments about other women than men. Mind, my method is not very scientific.

  • Natallica

    I'll only say one word: Hodor

  • foolsage

    Hodor? Hodor!

  • lowercase_ryan

    sup with the SOA pic?

  • You seeing things again, RyRy?

  • lowercase_ryan

    Chrome didn't resize it for some reason. It fits now but originally it was 10 ft. tall

  • I know. I'm just trying to help you on your way to crazytown.

  • lowercase_ryan

    Please, as if I don't have the route memorized.

  • poopnado

    I'm not a Lena Dunham fan, but not because of her body. I wouldn't even call her "sloppy". She's basically normal looking.

  • Amen, sister.

    Also, I thought this was about Justified. Can we talk about Olyphantyass?

  • kirbyjay

    I just realized that Olyphantass sounds like Elephantass.
    That's all

  • Well if that is an elephantass, he can swing his trunk my way.

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