Why is Lena Dunham Naked on GIRLS?
Well, not constantly. It just seems like it to some folks. A ruckus broke out last week when The Wrap reporter, Tim Molloy, asked Girls creator, Lena Dunham this question:
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.
It’s a question that has stuck in my mind.
Artists say they only do nudity for artistic reasons, not prurient purposes. So why is titillation the only legit rationale for Mr. Molloy?
Ms. Dunham says,
It’s because it’s a realistic expression of what it’s like to be alive.
Alive, and not ashamed of your body, it seems to me.
Lena does not have what’s considered the ideal body type. But her obvious comfort has made me aware of my own discomfort.
I’ve observed my reaction as I’ve watched her on screen – wondering why she doesn’t cover up more or try to put herself in a more “flattering” light. As she uncovers her body she uncovers my own stubbornly unconscious adherence to beauty myths. Myths I had thought I’d bought out of.
But after years of watching Girls I’ve become more comfortable with both her body and my own.
Shame brings judgment, contempt and rejection. When so many girls’ and women’s self-worth is tied up in their bodies, body shame can leave us feeling deeply flawed.
Living outside of shame Ms. Dunham’s character, “Hannah” gets naked when a woman naturally would in her everyday life: in a bathtub, having sex, changing clothes…
Because she challenges the notion of the female body as chiefly ornamental, even in – especially in – sex scenes… Her non-sexual nakedness is a statement so absurdly simple it feels silly to write it down, but yet almost never appears on screen: the skin and the form underneath a woman’s clothes are not primarily for the visual consumption and sexual enjoyment of men.
Such a radical thought that Mr. Malloy couldn’t even imagine it.
Posted on January 22, 2014, in body image, feminism, objectification, psychology, sex, sexism, women and tagged body image, feminism, HBO Girls, Lena Dunham, objectification, psychology, sex, sexism, Tim Molloy, women. Bookmark the permalink. 26 Comments.