Lena Dunham’s HBO series Girls has introduced a form of television show that displays something rare, realism. The series features four women in their 20 somethings and follows them in their lives and their discoveries in who they are. The problems that the characters face show their vulnerabilities and how self conscious they are but I think they represent the truth.
The realistic and honesty nature of the show draws a lot of criticism and hatred. In media women are expected to be perfect, flawless. Most main characters are drawn to perfection. That is what makes them likeable. Girls does it different. The characters on the show are impulsive, emotional, unsure, and they make illogical decisions. They are self centered but also self conscious. They don’t conform to society’s definition of pretty. They are real.
Dunham is 26 and has based Girls on her own experiences. Girls is sending a message to women, its fine not to be perfect. When people criticize Dunham for displaying her not so perfect body image it’s a critique towards all women. While media culture is telling women to be perfect with glossy, finished looks Girls is showing us the real woman. She’s not always put together, she doesn’t always know where she is going, and that’s okay.
As someone who is obsessed with Girls, I admire Dunham and her work in the series. I find it refreshing and an opening for more opportunities in the media for reflecting the practicality of women. In a recent interview Dunham was asked , “How do you want Girls to contribute to the ongoing conversation about feminism?” She responded, “On Girls I like being a mouthpiece for the issues I think young females face today. It’s always shocking when people question whether it’s a feminist show. How could a show about women exploring women not be? Feminism isn’t a dirty word. It’s not like we’re a deranged group who think women should take over the planet, raise our young on our own and eliminate men from the picture. Feminism is about women having all the rights that men have.” I agree Lena Dunham, change the game.