Lena Dunham Will Show Her Thighs Until She’s 105; We Say Bring It On

lena dunham body image

People sure have a lot to say about Lena Dunham. She’s rapidly become a cultural figure ripe for both conversation and criticism about everything from gender roles to racism to body image. What I like about her is that she’s actually participating in the conversation, too (with a healthy dose of self-awareness and humor), especially the conversation about her body. At a recent appearance at the New Yorker festival, she quipped: ”Get used to it. I’m going to live until 105 and I’m going to show my thighs every day.”

Lena recently took flak  in the media for wearing some super-short, barely visible shorts underneath a long top, showing her “dimpled” thighs. (Thanks for that description, Daily Mail!) Lena’s response? “‘I don’t think a girl with tiny thighs would have received such no-pants attention. I think what it really was…”Why did you all make us look at your thighs?”

And she’s completely correct. Since the show she writes and stars in, Girls, came out earlier this year, Lena’s gotten a ton of attention for her body, which she says is a size 8. People seem both shocked and appalled that Lena appears both nude and topless on the show, especially considering her body is outside of the “norm” (the norm being what we usually see on TV and in movies, not the norm of what women’s bodies actually are). She said, “I realized that what was missing from  movies for me was the presence of bodies I understood.” (I’d critique her for putting a vast majority of only white bodies on the first season of her show, but that’s a conversation for another post.)

Another quote from her during the New Yorker festival in relation to putting “average size” women on TV (many of the quotes were tweeted out as the talk was going on) was “Look at us until you see us.” That’s a powerful, relevant message for women today, women who, if they have a body that’s less than the ideal, can often feel invisible.

Let’s not forget that Lena also appeared on the Emmy’s telecast, naked, sitting on a toilet and eating cake, poking fun at both her image and her critics. Despite all of the talk and attention that Lena’s body gets, it seems like she’s still, ultimately, the one at the helm of the conversation. This is a rarity for a woman in the entertainment industry.

No matter what your opinion of Lena, her book deal,  or her show Girls might be, it’s hard to fault her for what she’s doing to normalize normal bodies. And the fact that the body she’s using to do that is her own? I really think it’s both badass and brave. Bring on the thighs, Lena!

Photo: WENN.com

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    • Rebecca

      The first time I saw her nude on girls I thought-damn, that girl is BRAVE! She instantly became a favorite for me:)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1508112349 Richard Kelly

      first time i saw her nude on grrls … i can see why why men go gay.. so i changed the channel

    • Jack

      And this(I’m sure you’ve seen the TV commercial) is the [Very same Lena Dunham herself] sweet little “virgin type” girl who says she wants her “first time to be with that special type of guy”. That’s why she slid open the little curtain………………… and voted for Barack Obama! Wonder if the First Lady has seen this picture above, or any of the others in Yahoo Image Search?

    • TheTruth

      And it was that photo that earned her the nickname: Pastry Crotch