Tag Archives: Lena Dunham

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.

“Work Ethic? What is that?” Asks Every Self-Absorbed Person in Their 20’s

10 Mar
Casey McIntyre wears a world of struggle on her porcelain face.

Casey McIntyre wears a world of struggle on her porcelain face.

The New York Times really needs to shut up about how hard it is to be white and in your twenties.  The publication created a subgenre about being young, in debt, underpaid, and overworked that persists and is now stronger than ever.  Take this annoying piece that appeared online last week, causing a tizzy among young and old alike who simply want to air their grievances about how hard their lives really are.

Take poor little Casey McIntyre, who feels overworked in her position as a book publicist.  She describes her fearless plight: “I have coffee before I leave the house, there’s a Dunkin’ Donuts conveniently in the subway station when I get off, and I get another coffee during the day,” she said. “And they’re large coffees.” Casey, not understanding that work often comes with obligations that may last even when she’s not perched at her desk looking at memes and GIFs in between grown up things like meetings and phone calls, is completely miserable in her coffee-soaked existence.

Perhaps what this disgusting subgenre of “Woe is me, I have to work more than I thought” pieces misses is the realization that things are different now.  If you have a job at all, you should be grateful. If you are not employed, well then that encompasses an entirely different New York Times subgenre. It may also get you featured on this lovely series on Gawker. In any case, The New York Times loves a good whiner. And if you can whine long and hard enough about how unfair everything is for you, then the world will take note of your struggle.  These young people having to work overtime simply to live are the Zapatas of our time. We should all admire their plight, no?

One thing that many young people seem to overlook is how they should be working their asses off while they still have the energy and wherewithal to soldier on.  All this noise about “YOLO” and “making the most of it” (the “YOLO” of yesteryear) is something being shoved down our throats by the Drakes and Justin Biebers and Lena Dunhams of this world.  Maybe if people my age stopped whining about their pitiful $12 an hour existences (which, really, are not pitiful at all), maybe they’d accomplish something.

Gah, it is so hard to be young and have to work.

Book Deals Are Like Penises: I Don’t Have One, and that Makes Me Sad Sometimes.

10 Oct

No, this entry is not about my desire to be a man.  This serves more as a platform for me lamenting my seeming lack of achievement in the literary world thus far.  It seems like every young blogger or tweeter or tumblrer is getting a book deal these days. Books. You know, those things people don’t read anymore because they can’t sell them in any place but Barnes and Noble. Which is a bookstore. There used to be another one of its kind, called Borders.



Young Emma Koenig has a book based on her Tumblr, “Fuck! I’m in My 20’s!” Christian Lander got a book deal after starting ‘Stuff White People Like,” a personal favorite of mine. Even Hannah Horvath has a book deal now! Sigh.

What makes a blog so intriguing that it ends up deserving its own book? I totally understand SWPL, but it was “Fuck! I’m in My 20s!” that made me more befuddled. As I kept clicking through the pages of “Fuck! I’m in my twenties!” I kept wondering, what the hell is so bad about being in your twenties? It’s an amazing time of self-exploration, of deciding what to do, where to live, and who to date. What can possibly be all that bad? Moments of self-doubt, worry, and sadness will surely come and go, but I doubt that those things magically stop when the clock strikes 30.

If there is one thing I have learned from being a young professional in the legal field, it’s that having a penis will take you far in your career.  At least I can buy a penis if I wanted one. Money cannot buy a book deal. Or can it? [Insert obligatory comment on the unfairness of nepostism here.] Either way, I do have several ideas for books I plan on writing, hopefully before the sand in the hourglass runs down to the final grain.

Also getting a book deal is voice of a generation Lena Dunham, whose $3.5 million deal with Random House probably breaks some sort of record.  I really like Lena Dunham, but at the same time, I kind of hate her. I was simply born to the wrong family, or I did something wrong in a past life. Even though her parents are artists that many people have never heard of, they likely know people who know people who fuck people who know people. It’s all who you know. I need to know more people. Where do people who know people congregate?  I would like to find this place and write a brilliant expose on the truth about nepotism for Gawker. This will happen.

Anywho, I am using this entry to announce that I will be beginning work on on a book titled I’m Not Lena Dunham and Other Mistakes I Made Thus Far in Life.  This book is forthcoming from the shoddy copier in my office and will be printed whenever my boss is on vacation. There will be chapters about sex. Please buy it, or at least pick up the tear-soaked copies that will eventually be left on the tables of every Starbucks west of the Mississippi. I have a plan, bitches. But I don’t have a peen.

Girls Demonstrates Why Sex Education is Important

1 May

Marnie entranced by the short yet profound Booth Jonathan.

This week’s episode of Lena Dunham’s Girls explored young Hannah Horvath’s plight after she learns she has HPV. What is most astonishing about this episode is not the fact that the show explores the topic of HPV to begin with, but the fact that all the main characters lack basic knowledge of what HPV is and how it’s detected in both sexes.  Thinking that she could have acquired HPV from her high school boyfriend, Hannah meets with Elijah, who is very obviously gay, though it takes her much too long to figure this out.  His telling her that the reason he was able to date her in high school because “there was a handsomeness” to her face is one of a few lines that elicited chuckles. After Hannah tells Elijah that she has HPV and feels that she may have acquired it from him, he finally educates her on the fact that HPV cannot be detected in males. No one else knew this for some reason. This is why sex education needs should be a part of school curriculum.

The other notable moment in this episode is a scene featuring Marnie (Allison Williams) and the supposedly handsome and dashing artiste, Booth Jonathan (Jorma Taccone, one-third of the Adam Sandberg comedy trio The Lonely Island).  What an awful name. Adding to the awfulness is Taccone’s delivery of the line, “I want you to know, the first time I fuck you, I might scare you a little, because I’m a man, and I know how to do things.” First off, gross. Who talks like that ever? Second, Jorma Taccone looks like he’s fifteen. I don’t get it. Can someone please explain?

This has been an unsolicited update on HBO’s Girls.

HBO’s New Show, Girls, Is a Little Bit Irksome.

16 Apr

Would you like some wine with that cheese, young ladies?

HBO has been promoting the shit out of their new original series, Girls. Those annoying pop-up ads have been all over Jezebel, making me look forward to the show for weeks.  I just watched the series premiere, and my reaction lays somewhere between “blah” and “meh”. Created by Lena Dunham, a 25-year-old whose 2009 film Tiny Furniture made waves at SXSW, Girls is also executive produced by Judd Apatow.

The first thing that bothered me about Girls was its collection of actresses who would likely only be actresses due to nepotism. Dunham herself is the daughter of two notable artists, Laurie Simmons and Carroll Dunham. She is perhaps the most relatable out of the cast.  The other main characters are played by Allison Williams, daughter of Brian Williams, yes, THE Brian WIlliams, Zosia Mamet, daughter of David Mamet, critically acclaimed playwright, and Jemima Kirke, daughter of Simon Kirke, drummer for the band Bad Company. It’s really quite annoying when you realize how well-connected this collection of young girls really is. All of a sudden, any ounce of believability that these actresses have ever struggled, especially in the financial sense, like many 24-year-olds entering the real world, and like we should believe about these twenty-somethings trying to find themselves, completely leaves your mind.  These characters are mind-blowingly entitled and self-absorbed, and our main character, Hannah, just could be the worst.

Lena plays Hannah Horvath, a 24-year-old who’s been out of college for two years and only works an unpaid internship while her college professor parents support her.  In the opening scene of Girls, Hannah’s parents tell her that they’ll be cutting her off financially. Her whiny reaction makes any person who ever had a job before the age of twenty cringe in horror.  I was supporting myself at the age of 18 or 19, which is actually late for many people who do not have wealthy parents to support them, so Hannah’s bratty reaction is alienating to many young people. I have also had an unpaid internship, but unlike Hannah, instead of going to my supervisor and demanding that he pay me for fucking around on a Mac all day long, I went out and got THREE additional paying jobs.

I was looking forward to Girls very much, but if the apex of the show’s story is Hannah’s griping over her parents not giving her money to do whatever the hell she does other than look for a job, I will not become a fan.  There was one moment in which I did feel bad for Hannah. Her odd-looking carpenter boyfriend, Adam, practically deceives Hannah into having doggystyle sex on his couch, hinting that he might not be wearing a condom, despite her vocal request.

There are some bright spots in the show. I am referring primarily to the subtly sharp one-liners spouted off by Dunham and her father, played by Peter Scolari of Bosom Buddies fame.  After ingesting a large amount of opium-infused tea and ending up sprawled on the floor, her father suggests she drink a cup of coffee. Hannah yells at her father,  “Coffee is for grown-ups!” Scolari’s retort: “You’re going to drink a strong cup of coffee!!!”  Perhaps Apatow will use his magical comedy powers to bring us more varied and peerless guest performers in future episodes. Girls has promise, but no power. Who wants to cheer for a girl who literally begs her parents for money? Is this the generation I belong to? It’s true, we’re all doomed.

On My Way: Twentysomething Women in Hollywood

31 Mar

Greta Gerwig, Rhys Ifans, and Ben Stiller waste time in Greenberg.

A piece written by Irin Carmon on Jezebel asks whether the gender gap in film will be defeated by a new crop of twentysomething women.  In Noah Baumbach’s latest film, Greenberg, a 26-year-old actress named Greta Gerwig steps up to plate for my fellow female actresses and trumps Ben Stiller. Gerwig plays Florence Marr (which is a name that sounds kind of blah on its own) a lost soul of sorts, a young woman with a liberal arts education working a thankless job as a personal assistant. Florence, with her awkward gait and medical-looking bra, is the face of a befuddled young woman just trying to make it through the day.

As A.O. Scott put it, Gerwig’s Florence embodies “the particular confusions – emotional, professional, expressive – facing young, rootless women in 21st century America.”

Hmmm….young rootless women. I suppose I’m a rootless young woman. I am living in a bit of a limbo, between major cities, hoping to get any thankless job and labor my way toward future happiness. Are twentysomething women truly confused? I’ve certainly been confused before, about relationships, the point of a liberal arts education, how to properly file taxes. I think the question one must ask is whether it’s a bad thing to be confused. Confusion should be a part of youth, and your twenties are  a decade of self-discovery, worry, and general discontent. People in their twenties are still hopeful that they’ll be millionaires and movie stars.

Will the women of my generation overcome their suspected neuroses and make a move on Hollywood? I suspect that the death of the A-List could leave a gap for young, talented actors and writers. Why can’t a good portion of them be women? Take a look at the trailer for Tiny Furniture, the latest film by 23-year-old Lena Dunham. Dunham is well on her way to major indie film fandom, and I’m a little bit jealous. With the growing success of Gerwig and Dunham, I feel it may be time for me to make that transition to Hollywood as soon as possible. The only good thing about where I am now is the daily dose of disappointment that keeps me somewhat motivated. Well, that and the near-gurantee that I won’t get lung cancer from the air here.

Twentysomething female actresses, writers, and filmmakers – get on your grind.