The Inevitable Backlash Against Lena Dunham’s Book

The Inevitable Backlash Against Lena Dunham’s 'Not That Kind Of Girl' Book


by Zoe Beaty |
Published on

[Getty, WWD]

She has written, produced, directed and starred in a hit HBO show. She’s penned two web series, two feature films and two (wildly successful) New Yorker essays. She wears cake dresses, she can move you in one simple turn of phrase and she gets naked on TV all the time to show what real bodies look like. And now, Lena Dunham – who is 28, incidentally – has written a book. A book which has already amassed substantial cultural significance and some cracking reviews. But how has she done all this?

Well, according to some particularly nasty sniping this week, it's apparently down to the fact that she’s a white middle-class girl riding on the privilege assigned to her at birth. It’s her wealthy parents who happen to be in the entertainment industry, who have really brought her success, you see? That’s what the haters would have you believe. But we’re not having any of it.

This back biting was, of course, entirely predictable. When Lena's show GIRLS first came out the reactions were exactly the same; she was labelled 'spoiled' and it was claimed her career was simply based on nepotism. Critics were uncomfortable with her success because of her privilege and education. The circumstances in which her talent has evolved have been rich, yes, but ultimately the problem here is the way that society views phenomenal female success like Lena's. Whereas we generally see male success as somewhat inevitable, people always want to assign a reason as to WHY a woman is successful. It’s an age-old story that begins with ‘shagging her way to the top’ and now, apparently ends with Lena Dunham's privilege and family background.

Many comparable 28 year olds will never achieve the same success as Lena and that is simply down to talent, not privilege. So backbiters begone. As we said, we're not having any of it...

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