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Not That Kind of Girl: Thoughts on Lena Dunham’s book

I just finished Lena Dunham’s book and I walked away feeling much better about the future, which is what I think she intended to do. Many people have a problem with Lena Dunham because they believe she is entitled and has no real talent, and only made it to the top because her parents were already well-off people in Manhattan. Lena had a lot of connections. But I think after reading her book, many of you will be surprised. I personally do not think she should be judged because she came from money. From what I read in her book, she had her moments of lousy apartments, sleeping on friends couches, and making horrible mistakes just like anybody else her age. What I like about Lena most is that she’s sarcastic, and she’s well aware that her thoughts could be considered ridiculous, but they are real.

I’m a huge fan of GIRLS, her HBO series, and it doesn’t always get the best reviews because people think it’s just about a bunch of white upper class women living in New York and having sex (aka Sex and the City). When GIRLS first premiered a couple of years ago, Lena explained that she was trying to capture the complete opposite of Sex and the City because she didn’t find it to be realistic. As much as I love Carrie Bradshaw, her starting career as a sex columnist that probably paid close to nothing would not have allowed her to live in a quiet Manhattan apartment, drink cosmos every night, and buy Prada shoes weekly. Which is what Lena means when she says unrealistic. Carrie eventually works her way up and publishes books that will pay for all of that, but what annoyed me was how much Carrie joked about her credit card bills yet she continued to drink fancy wine and wear Gucci.

For all of you who have never seen GIRLS, it’s about not having your life together right out of college like we all “believed” we would. It’s about the not-so-charming and gruesome truth about dating and the uncertainty of the future. It’s about learning to live independently even though you really want to latch onto those parents of yours.

Here are seven reasons why you should read Lena Dunham’s book and cut her some slack:

1. You’ll find yourself saying, “Oh my god, I did that too,” like you’re reading a judy blume book.

She adds a lot of quirky moments from childhood, to puberty, to possible lesbian tendencies only because you didn’t actually know what the term meant. You’ll look back on your old self and think, “See? You weren’t that crazy.”

2. You’ll learn the ways of dealing with publishers and the not-so-pretty truths behind writing.

She dives into the annoyances of certain men in the publishing world who try to “protect you” in times when you don’t need protection. She pretty much tells you to stick to your guns and don’t let anyone take over your career.

3. You’ll realize that you had some form of anxiety as a child, you just didn’t know it until now.

Lena was scared of everything. She constantly thought she was dying of something, frightened by little things like cellphones melting her brain, and the surface of her tongue. It starts to make whatever problems you’ve had seem small, or big, depending on the problem.

4. You will fulfill your parents dream by never wanting to date again.

Her dating stories are horrifying, yet hilarious all at the same time. She’s had internet boyfriends pretend to die as a way of “breaking up with her” to creepy 5th grade teachers hitting on her while she’s a student. If you’re single, this will make you rethink going out again.

5. Having a sense of humor really can make life better.

I promise, you will keep laughing as you read this book. It doesn’t stop.

6. You will respect Lena Dunham for all her gross honesty and laugh your panties off at her expense.

She expresses her concern over genital warts, along with many other things.

7. You will appreciate your own creativity no matter how much you doubted yourself.

She started off making small skits and videos with two friends she worked with in a baby clothing store that Gwyneth Paltrow shopped at. It has to start somewhere.

My One Complaint:

My only problem I had with her was her “rape” scene. I put quotation marks because she calls this scene “rape” but I know others may not see it as such. My opinion isn’t based off of whether or not this is a rape scene. It’s about the only redeeming quality she gave her rapist…he was a Republican. She repeated it several times, first staring off with, “I met my first Republican….” which then leads to her rape. And then this:

There was a story about him punching a girl in the boobs at a party. He was a Republican.

I was annoyed by this because she seemed extremely naive for a twenty-eight year old woman to poke a stab at Republicans for giving them the “rapist” quality. I’ve known plenty of Republicans…my entire family and then some, along with male friends, and I can confidently say that they’ve never raped anybody. I wasn’t offended by her statement, but I wanted her to back up her reasoning for needing to consistently point out that he was Republican, as if that is the reason he raped her. It didn’t fit for me, and I don’t think it helped her case in her essay.

I hope you all read her book and enjoy it as much as I did!

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