Our Ask Him takes a little detour this week to address the following submission:
Q: Gonna turn your Q&A section up with some T&A. SO. The Internet is in total uproar about this, so I’d love to know what you think about Lena Dunham’s boobs?
A: I love that you would love to know what I think about a third party’s breasts. Let’s get weird.
This is a somewhat overwhelming question for me, because I have very many, often conflicted, feelings about Lena Dunham’s boobs, all of which have been given equal and painstaking consideration.
Also, there is no way to write about Lena Dunham’s rack without pissing a bunch of people off. Seriously. She has the most polarizing pair in recent history. People won’t even read what I’ve written and they’ll get angry that another guy is writing another thing about Lena Dunham’s twins.
To be honest with you, I’ve probably thought more in the last week about Lena Dunham’s boobs than the boobs of anybody else in the world, with the (amazing) exception of the one woman whose boobs I have actually seen/felt/etc. in real life within the same time period (can I get a digital high five?).
I’d always been aware of the hype of Dunham’s breasts showing up often on GIRLS, but I didn’t pause to give it much thought until I read this article. Prior to that, I had dedicated more thought and discussion to Dunham herself and the fact that I’m unimpressed with most of her work, and downright do not like some of it. (I don’t like GIRLS for a number of reasons. I’ve tried to be objective about that for this question, though. And I do know what I’m talking about, because I have, in spite of my distaste seen every episode of the show. Because it’s culturally significant or whatever. Sometimes I hate myself.)
I don’t think I can sum up my feelings vis-à-vis Lena Dunham’s chest in one word or sentiment, so I won’t even try. Instead, I’ll break them out for you.
I am _________ by/about Lena Dunham’s boobs.
In my lifetime, I’ve only heard so much hullabaloo around a set of breasts on two previous occasions: when I was in second grade and news that Kate Winslet showed hers in Titanic broke, and last year when Angelina Jolie decided to proactively get hers removed and replaced with a pair of equal or better appearance and lesser feel. (They just don’t feel the same. #TheMoreYouKnow.)
Boobs are not that big a deal, and they become less so as pop culture is saturated with them (and as young kids realize they have the ability to look at them on the Internet whenever they want to). It’s kind of similar to how the f-word doesn’t shock people like it used to. We get used to these things—we become desensitized to them. So it’s impressive in a weird way that Dunham is getting so much attention for flashing her breasts on a channel that includes nudity—gratuitous and otherwise—in pretty much every original show they broadcast. If you check out the True Detective pilot, you can see, in numerous scenes, the breasts of a dead woman who has been bound up and adorned post-mortem with a crown featuring buck antlers. I guarantee there has been more written and discussed about Dunham’s nudity on the season premiere of GIRLS. And the shows premiered on the same night, back-to-back. HOW CAN THAT EVEN BE POSSIBLE?
So yeah. Dunham’s breasts are an impressive force.
I should add also that I’m impressed with Dunham’s decision to stay the naked course after so much press and criticism has been directed her way specifically for neglecting to wear clothes in front of a television camera. She could’ve cut back the nudity—just like she could have added more diversity to the show when criticized for that—but has instead gone on her merry breast-bearing way.
I just don’t understand why people make such a big deal about them thangs, and why they have to try and attach all kinds of meaning to Dunham’s decision to expose them. People get naked in real life, and Dunham has said on multiple occasions that this is one of the reasons she includes nudity in the show, saying she thinks it’s “a realistic expression of what it’s like to be alive.” So why not accept it and move on—whether moving on means shrugging off the nudity and continuing to watch the show, or changing the channel to something else that you like better? There are plenty of other more interesting discussions you can have with more depth about GIRLS, like whether it really does portray “real life” the way people seem to think it does (it doesn’t), or whether it really is funny or if we just say it is because Judd Apatow is involved (the latter).
I’m just not really attracted to Lena Dunham or her chest. I’m more a butt man anyway.
In a way, this is contradictory to everything I just wrote. But it’s true. I really don’t care about Lena Dunham’s breasts. I care about the cultural significance they have and the endless debates that are at least ostensibly concerning them (because I can’t not care about these things, for whatever reason). However, I can say with 100 percent confidence that if all of this other stuff didn’t surround Dunham’s breasts, I wouldn’t think twice about them when I saw them on TV. I’d just shrug and continue thinking about how big of a douchebag the character Adam is, or how long it will be before there is an “A-Ha!” moment that makes me like the show and understand why so many others do. I have seen breasts before, and, god willing, I’ll see breasts again.
Some are nicer looking than others.
Some are fodder for the water cooler.
Some feed babies.