Lena Dunham, darling of feminists the world over, will now be seen as an essayist on tour, preferably clothed and without any long winded rants on her right to show off her naked body. Her collection of essays, titled Not That Kind of Girl, is not on par, by all reports, with her “funny” HBO show Girls which has won a number of awards. Earlier this year, during a Q & A session in Los Angeles, Dunham was asked just why so much nudity featured in the program, specifically her nudity.
Judd Apatow reacted badly to the question, bordering on apoplectic and the producer accused the journo who posed the question, one Tim Malloy, of being misogynistic. Certainly an unfair suggestion since most feminists have argued against the sexualization of women in television, film and books for years. Dunham was not quite as upset, but she did imply it was her God given right to show off her lady parts whenever she felt the urge, in an artistic setting of course.
With all the recent leaks of celebrities in their birthday suits, and the threat of the odd sex tape or two, of all the women who had their private moments shared, Lena Dunham was not one of them. Stepping back for a moment from this whole distasteful event, or more accurately events since this has happened more than once, it begs the question, why was Lena left out?
Has she, as implied by Malloy’s question earlier this year, exposed herself so much on the HBO comedy that no one cares? Or, as stated outright by shock jock Howard Stern, is there no market for a naked female version of Jonah Hill? Remember Stern made this allegation and it is his job to shock and to, more or less, offend; but is there truth to this allegation. Not that Dunham looks like a feminine Jonah Hill, but that if she did, her nudity would not be in demand.
Lena Dunham is, by all accounts, an intelligent woman. She is obviously talented and funny, although this essayist and screenwriter/performer does have a certain audience that she appeals to. Her book tour, which has already earned some negative publicity will feature the “nude” feminist as speaker, preferably clothed and funnier than her collection of essays. Apparently the stories are a bit of a downer compared to her work on Girls.
The negative publicity surrounding her book tour had to do with asking lesser known artists to perform on her junket sans payment. After an outpouring of support for these acts, Lena changed her mind. While not a fan of any woman who feels she must inflict her less than perfect body upon the world whenever she feels like it, one does have to admire her ability to shift mid-stream a decision that would have shown her in a less than good light.
Of course, Lena Dunham as essayist, screenwriter and actress is not alone in her desire to be seen in the altogether. Miley Cyrus for example, who is younger and thinner than Dunham, also likes to “get her kit off.” The 28 year-old Dunham cannot compete with the younger performer so preferably she will remain clothed while her various paid acts warm up the audience for her essay collection tour. One can only hope.
By Michael Smith