Have Lena Dunham's Nude Scenes In GIRLS Redefined The 'Acceptable Female Body'?
Lena Dunham continues to show her naked body on television despite criticism.
As you may have gathered from my previous GIRLS article, I’m a big fan of the show. It’s a fairly accurate depiction of life for a modern 20-something, a life that the older generation can’t seem to grasp when they constantly ask why most of us are still unemployed or earning practically peanuts in our mid-twenties.
There's been much debate over Lena Dunham's nudity in HBO hit show, GIRLS
Unlike HBO’s last female-centric hit show, Sex and the City, where each of the characters lived glamorous and envious lifestyles, attending constant nightclub openings wearing Manolo Blahnik’s and Dior, GIRLS is realistic. Sex and the City embodied the late 90‘s girl power ethos, revving women up to be either strong, sexual-predator-come-PR-guru, Samantha Jones or stick-thin, designer-wardrobe-wearing Carrie with her famous column advertised on the side of a New York bus. In comparison to the Cosmopolitan-swilling Sex and the City, GIRLS is like comfort food, reassuring but not always easy to digest.
A hot topic for the media and those who watch the show has always been the subject of Lena Dunham’s regular nudity. No one has a problem with nudity on HBO shows, Sex and the City was absolutely brimming with it, the only problem is that our society doesn’t allow us to recognise that a woman with a body not worthy of the thinspiration hashtag should feel comfortable revealing her body. The problem people have is that Lena Dunham is overweight and we’ve been exposed to so few overweight bodies that her's is causing a stir.
This was no time more apparent than the total outrage that ensued after Episode 5 in Season 2 when Lena Dunham’s character enjoyed a steamy weekend with a handsome doctor. Critics labelled the coupling ‘implausible’ because Patrick Wilson, who played the doctor in question, is a handsome man so therefore couldn’t possibly have been attracted to Hannah. Is it so preposterous that a man in his forties would be attracted to a bubbly 24 year old who radiates youth and energy just because she’s a little plump? Would critics have been appeased had the doctor politely declined once Hannah had taken her top off?
Lena Dunham Has Responded to Critics With More of the Same
The problem isn’t that Lena Dunham is carrying a few extra pounds, the problem is we care that she is. Fortunately, the argument against nudity in GIRLS does seem to be dying down as time goes on. Perhaps this is what Lena Dunham hoped for, her regular nudity does seem to be considered now more commonplace and people have run out of things to say about it. It may have been a tough couple of years for her while she listened to the constant debate about her body, but in the grand scheme of things she has done something pretty spectacular by tiring out her critics. Let’s hope that she’s paved the way for a more realistic female body type to become the norm in film and television, because funnily enough, normal people have sex too.