The Girls Season 2 premiere is this Sunday, and while most fans are probably wondering how Lena Dunham‘s character handled getting mugged and stranded in Coney Island, more seem to be talking about Allison Williams‘ weight and the rest of the cast’s physiques. Commentary about Dunham’s body has been nearly nonstop since Girls first premiered; she’s fat by Hollywood standards, and she gets naked a lot in the show. Discuss! But the show’s central cast has also caught the runoff, and with season two, it looks like it could be in full force.
New York magazine published a piece today about the actresses of Girls looking more “Hollywood”: Author Yael Kohen made vague mention of the cast’s increasing number of red carpet appearances in designer dresses, but her main beef with their “changing image” mostly seems to be Allison Williams’ weight–a topic that she says (spoiler alert) will come up on the show itself:
It’s a testament to the show, then, that during the first episode of the second season, Dunham doesn’t let Williams get away with her real-life weight loss — she looks very Hollywood now — without comment. In a scene between Williams’s Marnie and her mother (played by Rita Wilson), her mother tells her that she looks “30 years old.” “I miss the softness in your face,” she tells her. “All you girls think that you look really good, but you just look like floats in the Macy’s parade — these big heads on these tiny bodies.”
Her piece makes good points about the pressure on women who work in television to get thin–and it’s not unreasonable to wonder how Dunham, Williams, Jemima Kirke (who gave birth to baby #2 between season one and two of Girls), and Zosia Mamet are handling it, especially because–As Kohen points out–the show has prided itself on its unabashed portrayal of women who don’t conform to Hollywood norms:
But it’s unsettling to see one of the most unseemly aspects of the entertainment business encroach upon the cast of Girls so quickly, and so visibly, if only because the show seemed such an aggressively defiant fuck-you to how women (and leading ladies) are expected to act and look on screen.
But here’s the thing: The cast of girls has always been different from the characters they portray. Though no one’s been wearing a fat suit for the show, so far as we can tell, this isn’t a documentary: We’ve always known that Dunham is more privileged and successful than the character she portrays; in fact, all of the main characters are.
Kohen’s critique of the cast’s Hollywood-ification didn’t break news about any massive transformation in the cast–Williams may have lost some weight, but if you thought she was “curvy” before, then you’ve truly been brainwashed by Hollywood norms–but it did herald the even bigger noise about weight, body image, and women that will come with the second season of Girls.
Photo: Kyle Blair/WENN.com