When Lena Dunham Met Caitlin Moran And Charmed London: What We Learned

When Lena Dunham Met Caitlin Moran And Charmed London: What We Learned


by Zoe Beaty |
Published on

The tickets sold out in just 12 hours - and, for the lucky two and a half thousand people that made it to the Southbank Centre on Friday night, the frantic push for a seat was well worth it. That's because, in the plush auditorium by the Thames, Lena Dunham - *Girls *creator, writer, director, actress, Emmy-award-winning, film-making, 28-year-old millennial hero - met with fellow feminist and *Times *writer Caitlin Moran. And it was every bit as good as it sounds.

Lena charmed London. Her visit, as part of her recent book tour, evoked a very visceral and energetic buzz from the audience as we anticipated the night and - from everything from her hilarious and gently self-deprecating introduction to the belly laughs (and belly talk) that followed throughout the night - it didn’t disappoint.

Here are just a few things we learned from Lena:

1. She really doesn't dress to please anyone else

'It’s a weird thing because so much of it is people being angry that you didn’t dress for them – you didn’t dress to their tastes, you didn’t dress to please them.

'I mean, if I’m gonna go and spend eight hours standing up and listening to us celebrate the cast of Two and a Half Men or whatever we’re there to do, then why shouldn’t I wear something that I feel good in and amuses me, and not whatever like, nude, satin, mermaid fishtail gown that we’re now contractually required to wear to an event because I’m not interested.

'It’s an interesting thing because people take it as an almost personal offence that you don’t share their same desire to be seen and accepted. The amount of ‘what were you thinking’ rage makes you really think about how much time those people must spend thinking about blending in as they walk down the street, and what an uncomfortable state that must be.

'I ended up wearing a dress [to the Emmys] that I did feel good about that everyone else hated, which was the same thing. It’s really a pleasure to embody yourself, and I think there’s this misconception that when women dress in a way that isn’t exactly the style of the moment that they’re trying to attract a certain kind of attention, or confuse people, or like, troll the audience.

'I don’t think people really understand that dressing like yourself feels really good.'

2. In addition, she really likes dressing in pyjamas

'My pyjama collection is bigger than my regular clothes collection. I have this T-shirt of my mom’s from the early ’90s that says ‘Women’s Action Coalition’ with like, a pissed-off suffragette, and it’s full of holes and it’s 100% the coolest thing I own, so I can wear that and a pair of men’s XXXL pants.'

3. She doesn't really drink

'I haven't been drunk in two years,' she said. And on what she's seen of British drinking habits: 'I saw men run from bar to bar wearing tutus and they weren't artistic men on the fringes of culture but drunk straight men.'

Lena Dunham on her book tour

4. She feels welcome in the UK

'I feel that [her nudity in Girls] was so much less of an issue here. Despite your reputation of uptight crustiness, I feel welcomed both creatively and breastily.'

5. We should say 'no' a lot more than we do

'For me 2014 has been about the power of saying no. For women no is not a word we are taught to say enough. There is a sense that you have to be amenable and pleasing and when you're a successful women you feel you have to apologise for it. Setting boundaries is the only thing that allows us to keep going on and keep our light on.'

6. Being best friends with Taylor Swift is every bit as wonderful as we imagined

‘I’d love to tell you guys that you’re not missing out but it’s not true… she smells amazing.'

She added: 'It’s a lot of hanging out in an apartment either making or procuring baked goods, and going over some stuff, and it’s really nice.'

7. You should always feel good for trying your best.

'I tend to look at a lot of my old work with a lot of sympathy for my former self, because I feel like there’s something really brave about making things at any point, no matter how well you do it.

'I think it’s a nice way to look at your old work, to look back and just hug yourself for trying.'

**Lena Dunham's book, Not That Kind Of Girl, is out now. **

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