On Friday, I went into the Taylor Swift's East Rutherford, New Jersey concert with high expectations. After all, I've been to T.Swift concerts before and she more than delivers. Part of that delivery, as everyone knows, is her penchant for harboring the absolute coolest "surprise" guests. So, color me not so "surprised" when Swift brought out friend and proud New Yorker, Lena Dunham, onto the stage with Gigi Hadid, Lily Aldridge, and Hailee Steinfeld. But, just because I sort of expected it, didn't mean I didn't fan girl hard. Cause I did. There was a lot of screaming, a lot of clapping, and I'm sure, a lot of annoyance being had by my neighboring seatmates due to my excitement. Unfortunately, it seems that Dunham felt "chubby" on stage with Swift according to her comments as reported by E!, and that is pretty upsetting to hear as a fan.
I mean, listen, it's not every day you get to see so many bad ass, famous ladies in the same place you happen to be at. Since it happened, I've been telling anyone that would listen just how much of a special experience it was. No one has told me to shut up about it yet, so, here I am. That being said, when I read that Dunham had felt out of place on stage next to Swift, Hadid, Aldridge, and Steinfeld, I found it particularly troubling. E! Online relays that the actress and writer said at the Film Society of Lincoln Center that,
"I was so thrilled to support my friend and so displeased to learn about the truth of my own height. I've been feeling pretty fall, feeling pretty sturdy, and it was amazing to me, like, 'Oh, I'm not tall, I'm chubby.' It's different. But I mean, on most days, I feel really great and fine about my body, but I don't think standing next to, like, three supermodels or so is anything even the most confident woman needs to do. When I socialize with those women, which I've done a little bit, because they're good friends of Taylor's, who is a good friend of mine, I don't feel so strange. But the minute I caught sight of myself in the Jumobtron, I knew something was very wrong."
I think it's safe to say that Dunham has done and continues to do so much in the way of body positivity, but we humans are flawed and insecure beings by nature, and even someone as positive as Dunham has her bad days when she succumbs to comparing. Being a girl on the shorter side, standing only about an inch and a half taller than her 5'3" frame, I understand the feeling. It's hard not to compare yourself to others, when most of the time, you are literally looking up to them. But, shortness, tallness, wideness, narrowness, and so on, isn't "wrong." It just is. And Dunham, of all people, should know that as a constant body pos role model.
Still, when you're feeling a little down on yourself, it can be hard to remember that. Even, if you're as crazy successful and self-aware as Dunham is.
And sure, when I saw the Girls star marching down the stage with said supermodels and the like, I noticed that she is significantly shorter than the rest of the 5'8" and higher heel clad women. That's how height works. In fact, I even pointed out the glaring difference to my own 5'8" friend because I was excited by the representation of short ladies on the stage. If I stood next to the other four women up there, I'd look something like that, too. But, despite what Dunham may think, the height and shape difference she noted between herself and the rest of Swift's squad in no way signified that she didn't belong there or that anything was "wrong." All bodies are beautiful, no matter the context.
In fact, all I heard was raucous applause and hysterical shouts of, "Lucky Fiore!" (Dunham's "Bad Blood" alter ego) when she was welcomed onto the stage. Everything about it seemed so right.
Dunham should know that she rocked her black slacks, nearly flat shoes, and sheer sleeved top just as fiercely as Hadid rocked her thigh high boots... and Aldridge did with her fur... and Swift did with her leather... and Steinfeld did with her dress. They all looked fantastic in their own, signature ways. It was refreshing that, for the most part, while these ladies may have been in their "Bad Blood" music video uniforms, they weren't uniform. The beautiful thing about their stage strut was how despite their differences in appearance and background, these women had come together, arm in arm, and looked to be having an absolute blast while doing it.
And that is what we should take away from Dunham's cameo with Swift's squad. I'm just going to chalk this up Dunham having one of those days we all have, because come on, girl. You know you're beautiful just the way you are, no matter who you're standing next to.