Of course, the truth is that women like Dunham—and ones even less pretty and more imperfect—get laid with very little effort, every single day. This flies in the face of what we’re taught about female attractiveness, but it’s true.
From “The audacity of Lena Dunham, and her admirable commitment to making us look at her naked,” by Lesley at xoJane. Definitely worth a read in its entirety. We give Dunham serious props for “giving no fucks.”
gif via whatshouldwecallgirls
Girls (with new wave hairdos…)
STIs, virginity, confusing hookups, and a visit to the lady doctor, all in one episode? Lauren’s not the only one who’s excited about the debut of Girls. But with all the conversation the show has already sparked, does anyone else out there have this song on repeat in their heads? Not that we’re complaining…
We give the show props for realistically representing how young women use—and don’t use—birth control. But we won’t lie and say we’re not fantasizing about an episode where the characters discover the wonderful world of long-acting reversible contraception. (Fingers crossed!)
Sex On TV: Girls Gets It
HBO’s new show Girls: where even to begin. After watching the pilot and then Sunday night’s second episode with my roommate, my biggest regret is not having taken notes. The blog fodder was literally bombarding me, kamikaze style, and I don’t even know how to tackle this bad boy. But, taking a hint from the legendary Julie Andrews, I guess I’ll start at the very beginning.
Girls, birthed by writer/director Lena Dunham and reared by Judd Apatow, seeks to fill the television void of shows with realistic depictions of twenty-somethings. You know, that awkward time when you realize the career goal you’ve dreamed of since your childhood and focused your college education on is actually the last thing in life you should be doing, you’re not really making any money but working your ass off, you take turns with your friends to coordinate quarter-life crises and breakdowns, and your skin decides to retaliate for four years of mistreatment by reverting back to middle school acne. No resentment in this blogger’s writing voice at all…
Needless to say, I was pretty pumped at the idea of the show and couldn’t wait to put my judgey-pants on and watch the pilot. As a child of the Sex and the City/Gossip Girl/The Hills era, I cannot begin to express the disappointment I experienced when I realized my twenties were more likely going to resemble an episode of PBS News Hour than SATC. Therefore, watching the show, there were a few things I was refreshed by: for starters, Lena Dunham’s character Hannah. She’s awkward, unsure of herself professionally, strapped for cash, and shaped like a real woman. Not Hollywood’s version of a “real woman,” a.k.a. a perfectly coiffed size 4 with curves in all the right places. Instead, she’s frequently unkempt and sporting some curves in some of the wrong places, too. Love it. Hannah is stranded in the no-man’s-land of casually hooking up with a guy she met at a party—and even though he’s rude to her at times, they only hang out if they’re having sex, and her friends don’t like him, Hannah keeps going back to him. Degrading and embarrassing? Yup. But a realistic relationship status for many twenty-somethings? Unfortunately, yes again.
Clearly this show was going to be fair game for a blog post—I decided within the first 10 minutes—so you could only imagine the decibel level of my squeal when the girls started talking unplanned pregnancy, STDs, condoms, etc. To quote one of my favorite SNL characters, this show has EVERYTHING. An attempt to have a frank discussion about using condoms that actually sounds as awkward as they usually go down? Check. A scene inside a women’s clinic that looks more like a spa than a shameful version of a Jiffy Lube waiting room? Check. On-screen STD test? Check. They even have a 23-year-old virgin who hasn’t dedicated her life to religion! So she may use words like “totes,” cite Rent as her authoritative source on HIV/AIDS, and get her love advice from a book called Hey Ladies Bible, but her rationale behind waiting is simply that it hasn’t happened yet.
Girls has come under fire for a number of reasons, and I’m not going to deny that it has its flaws. However, what it does well, it does very well. Sex, dating, hooking up, and birth control can all be incredibly awkward and uncomfortable, but they’re all part, possibly a prevalent part, of a twenty-something’s life. Accurately portraying how all that good stuff REALLY goes down is a point in my book. But what really stole my heart? Watching Hannah struggle to tuck her shirt into her hiked up skirt, wearing ugly gray tights. That may or may not have happened in my own bedroom this morning…
Image from HBO.
Lauren Mann works in The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy’s Entertainment Media department. She’s been blogging about sex, love and relationships among twenty-somethings since she first joined the Campaign as an intern in 2009. Check out her personal blog at whatjewtalkingbout.tumblr.com.