Looking from the outside in - people, place and practice

Friday, February 15, 2013

How Lena Dunham is changing the way I feel about my body

#Spoiler alert!

After watching the latest episode of GIRLS (Season 2, episode 5) I can't help but think about films like An Affair to Remember. Scenarios pop up in my head, making me picture beautiful villas, rich and handsome men sipping on 30-year-old whisky. They are charming and charismatic as they spend romantic weekends with young, doe-eyed women who have tiny figures and flawless skin. They usually spend these weekends taking long baths, drinking wine, having fireplace chats and engaging in hot sex.

For me, this episode of GIRLS was just that. Yet, Lena Dunham’s character, Hannah, is nothing like the women described above.

She is a bigger girl, she has cellulite, she has a flabby stomach, she's not always perfectly manicured or impeccably made-up. She is so much closer to my body type than I am to any of those women I grew up watching in movies.

Hannah spends two nights in the Brooklyn brownstone home of a handsome, rich and very kind doctor named Joshua. He is the perfect gentleman and genuinely seems to be into her.

As he lifts her up onto the kitchen island, he rubs his hands over her in-no-ways bony thigh. It’s really sexy. I think Lena Dunham wanted to show that girls who are considered ‘average’ by societal beauty standards can also have affairs like this, and hot ones at that.

There is a scene in this episode where Hannah and Joshua engage in some bare-chested table tennis. She focuses only on the ball and forgets to be self-conscious. You can see how comfortable she is with her naked body and how appealing this uber-attractive man finds that.

Lena Dunham is changing the way I view my body. I slowly but surely seem to find all those imperfections appealing. The flabby stomach, the not-so-perfect thighs. It’s all about changing perceptions.

It elates me to think that imagery like this in GIRLS is becoming mainstream. It goes to show that it can take just one person to change our idea of beauty…

Thanks, Lena.

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