I have been fairly critical of Lena Dunham‘s work and her general persona, but let’s be honest with each other—that’s not entirely separate from the fact that I too am a swarthy creative-type who would like to write a television show about her misadventures.
As part of Miranda July‘s “We Think Alone” project (the premise of which involves signing up to receive a weekly email containing emails sent by nine famous types on a particular theme. The participants include Kirsten Dunst and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, to name a few, as well as Dunham). This week’s theme was an email with a picture of yourself.
Dunham’s email (ostensibly to a college boyfriend) included a Photobooth selfie:
“I used my macbook to take a photo of me in my costume which is pretty offensive and i thought you might appreciate it, being my lover and all. It’s like what 50 year olds do to spice up their sex lives.”
I like that Lena called the photo “offensive” back in 2007, as if she prophesied that one day, people would be straight up offended that she shows her naked body on TV.
Why do people get all twisted up in knots over Dunham taking off her clothes on screen? Well, one could say she’s being an exhibition attention-whore who directly profits off of the perceived undesirability of larger women. Or, more likely, most people odn’t want to admit that a woman who looks like her is desirable and sexual. Simply put, we are unwilling to acknowledge the women of all sizes can be sexual beings and are as desirable and deserving of sexual attention as anyone.
What do you think of Lena’s selfie? I think it’s fun, funny, and also sexy, and I’m not the least bit surprised she decided to share a private exchange between her and a former boyfriend with the whole world. That’s just her thing, and she looks good doing it.
Photos: Instagram, We Think Alone