It’s both fascinating and frustrating that conversations about HBO’s Girls are often less about this revolutionary show and more about the show’s creator and star Lena Dunham. She’s been panned for daring to bear her less-than-fit flesh (gasp) onscreen. There’s been whining and finger-pointing about nepotism because her parents are professionals in the NYC art scene; which, it should be noted, is not the entertainment industry in Hollywood. She’s been outright called a racist because she didn’t shoehorn a non-Caucasian prototype into one of her four lead characters to fulfill an unspoken quota.Since the show’s premiere last Spring it’s hard not to feel that every criticism of this young, successful woman come as contemptuous simply because of those three words: young, successful, woman. As much as I’d love to stand beside her in solidarity and shut down each envious critic who is solely trying to diminish a flourishing female, it’s much more fulfilling to watch Lena blatantly manipulate her medium into a blindingly ironic mirror of its negative commentary and give them all a big, (uh) fat, middle finger. [Season two spoilers ahead, please do not read on if you’re not caught up.]
Nepotism, you say? How about in the second episode of season two, LD just went ahead and had her mother play Marnie’s interviewer for the gallery position she’s turned down for.
Racist? This season opened with Community favorite Donald Glover, who is also hipster-hop rapper Childish Gambino, and happens to be African-American, as her character Hannah’s boyfriend. But instead of keeping him around to pander to nay-sayers who undoubtedly breathed a sigh of relief that Affirmative Action is alive and well, she reveals that he’s not just black! He’s a black Republican! And overtly Liberal-leaning Hannah promptly gives him the ax because of it.
And her crowning achievement? In episode three, she swaps shirts with a strung-out dude on the dance floor and rocks a transparent, yellow, mesh midriff top for the entire rest of the show. Her muffin top, rolls– whatever bakery analogy you prefer to apply to whatever anatomy– and most importantly all above the waist lady-bits, were out. There was no sassy bra pushing up her assets to maximize them, no cute corset to shape the softness into a demure hourglass, just naked flesh with a veil of neon club wear. Hello, new breed of unapologetic feminism.