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.
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.
Bobby “Elvis” Munson-“Sons Of Anarchy”: Kurt Sutter’s biker show never tires of flossing sloppy biker backside.
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.)
Louie-“Louie”: CK presents the most obvious comparison to Dunham. Is his body less repugnant to viewers because his self-hate is more apparent?