I've never been so angry at a story for not going away, but here we are once again. Lena Dunham, along with the producers of Girls, was forced to defend her nakedness again. And the fact that this isn't the first, the second, or the third time this exact type of story has been covered is because the world, or the media, cannot seem to get over the idea that people with real bodies spend time in the nude. That, maybe, just maybe, Lena Dunham really, really doesn't give a shit what some misogynist hiding out in a dark corner of the Internet thinks of her belly or thighs, and that we kinda shouldn't give a shit, either.
At the Girls TCA panel on Thursday, a reporter asked Lena and producers the following question: “I don’t get the purpose of all the nudity on the show — by [Dunham] in particularly. I feel like I’m walking into a trap where you go, ‘Nobody complains about all the nudity on Game of Thrones,’ but I get why they do it. They do it to be salacious and titillate people. And your character is often nude at random times for no reason.”
Right, so it makes sense for hot people to be naked, since they are doing it to be sexay and get sexay ratings, but if it's not a hypersexualized and largely fantastical plotline full of large breasted, flat stomached characters, then the nudity is "for no reason."
You know, no reason other than that the entire show is about portraying realistic 20-somethings as they exist realistically. Twenty-somethings get naked, rather a lot, even if, god forbid, they have cellulite or love-handles or any of the terrifying side effects of being bigger than a size 8.
Dunham replied, "It’s a realistic expression of what it’s like to be alive, I think, and I totally get it. If you’re not into me, that’s your problem, and you're going to have to kind of work that out with whatever professionals you've hired." Amen.
The thing is, it doesn't really matter that they do or don't get naked in Game Of Thrones. It isn't about comparing Lena's nudity to other nudity, or analyzing exactly why she uses it. It's why a smart, talented, unbelievably cool actress/writer/human being should be forced to say over and over again, "I show my body because it's real." Shouldn't that be obvious? And if it wasn't immediately, shouldn't it be obvious by now, only a few days before the premiere of Girls much anticipated third season? Is there some bizarre expectation that if people comment on Lena's nudity enough, she'll be shamed out of doing it?
Even more importantly, if that did work, no one would feel better knowing that the relentless scrutiny of the size-ist media actually forced us back about two decades in terms of body image in film. If there are people out there who would rest easier at night knowing that no one would have to look at Lena Dunham's ass or boobs once in a while because she doesn't go on a liquid diet before shooting, or stop drinking water two days before a nude scene (which is what Victoria Secret's models do before their shows, because isn't looking like a super model just so fricking healthy and worth it?), well, I hope I never meet them.
It makes me sad, and angry, and then sad again because the one chick in the limelight who has the balls to get real in the face of criticism gets picked on, over and over again, and all that does is send the few girls who might have followed Lena's brave example slinking back into the shadows.
Images: Getty; HBO