Tim Molloy Reminds Me of My Father, and for That He Should Apologize

12 Jan

Lena Dunham. Photo by Terry Richardson.

I was about ten or eleven years old when my father said what is probably one of few things I remember him saying to me during my childhood.  I was sitting at the family computer, presumably working on my homework, when he came up to me, poked me in my stomach, and said, “you gotta lose that.”  This moment emblazoned itself into the back of my mind many years ago, and at any time I experience an insecurity about my body, I trace it back to this one defining moment.

I am sure that my father thought he was being helpful.  However, what he said in that moment has become the topic of $100 per hour therapy sessions, problems in my intimate relationships with men, and the lingering thought in the back of my head that no one will ever love me because of my stomach paunch.  If anything, this is one of the moments that further caused a lack of bonding between myself and my father, someone whom I speak to on a semi-regular basis due to his living thousands of miles away from where I am now.

There’s nothing more annoying than someone who feels the need to give you their opinion in regard to your body or the bodies of others, especially when it is unsolicited.  This appears to be something done primarily by men, but women are guilty as well.  Unless someone asks your opinion, the topic of their body should be completely verboten.

When Tim Molloy of The Wrap asked a question at a panel  at the Television Critics Association including Judd Apatow and Lena Dunham, the creators of the HBO show Girls, he attempted to breach the subject of the nudity of Lena Dunham’s character, Hannah Horvath.  Here’s what Tim had to say for himself:

I don’t get the purpose of all of the nudity on the show, by you particularly, and I feel like I’m walking into a trap where you go, ‘Nobody complains about the nudity on ‘Game of Thrones,’ but I get why they are doing it… They are doing it to be salacious and, you know, titillate people. And your character is often naked just at random times for no reason.

Yikes, where to begin.  It is obvious that Molloy’s statement is ultimately irrelevant, especially when Girls is entering a third season and enough backlash regarding Lena Dunham’s choice to appear nude in her own television show already unfolded in the last two years.  Additionally, Molloy is speaking directly about Dunham in particular, and not about any other actors appearing on the show.  His comments are meant to be a direct attack on a woman whose body is not considered perfect in the traditional sense.  And god forbid that such a woman be depicted nude in any manner.

Despite Molloy’s rude comment, Dunham’s response was rather diplomatic:

Yeah. It’s because it’s a realistic expression of what it’s like to be alive, I think, and I totally get it. If you are not into me, that’s your problem.

Dunham is aware of what she looks like and that she is not, nor will she ever be, a skinny Hollywood actress type.  I feel that Molloy’s question was nothing but clearcut trolling.  He knew the type of reaction that his question would garner and he obviously has little to no respect for Dunham.  Molloy’s opinion on Dunham’s body, and whether or not he wants to see it, is something he should keep to himself.  Judd Apatow reportedly later spoke with Molloy privately, letting him know that the “tenor” of his question was inappropriate, and ultimately, misogynistic.

Let’s be honest.  A lot of men should feel grateful that they are getting any sex at all.  There are countless men who feel they are entitled to be with models or women who look like models, but they are not pictures of Adonis themselves.  This hypocrisy leads to many imbalanced relationships and countless incidences of emotional and mental abuse. People also ultimately lose sight of what are important qualities in partners, such as emotional support, RESPECT, and a general sense of kindness and love.

When it comes down to it, the best method of broaching the subject of another human being’s body is to not broach the subject at all.  If someone is remotely overweight, they are completely aware.  The same goes for those who are underweight, or men who are frequenting the gym to build up their pecs and arms.  Everyone stands in front of the mirror and KNOWS what they look like.  This is not a mystery to anyone, so keep it to yourself.

Many people comment on how confident I appear in myself and with my body, but every so often my mind returns to those moments in which I was made to feel less than perfect, less than deserving.  Even the most confident of people have small insecurities, and the only logical thing is to try to be a better human and not hack open old wounds.

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