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I read this post, in which Howard Stern (who used to be known as a very popular shock jock, and is now better known as one of the judges on America’s Got Talent (I think he’s still doing that, anyway)) dismisses Lena Dunham as being “a fat little chick” and lost it.
Maybe this is because this comes shortly after reading a NY Post columnist backhand complimenting Dunham’s show, Girls, in a piece in which she called Dunham “blobby,” going so far as to write, “Interestingly, the gorgeous Marnie is the one who is now totally unlucky in love. Sometimes it just doesn’t pay to be smart, breathtakingly beautiful, nice and kind. Not when there are blobbies who are willing to take their clothes off in public constantly—even when they aren’t in character.”
I am not going to dwell on the fact that to call Marnie—a character for whom I do have empathy, given her capacity for uptight bitchiness—nice and kind is to see the show through a very particular (and, you know, sort of false) lens. Nor am I going to say that, here in the world in which Lena Dunham and Allison Williams and this Post writer and you and I all live, there are heavy girls who are having sex all the time whilst classically attractive according to the bullshit standards of beauty of 2013 girls remain untouched, and vice versa, because, for every body type, there is another person who thinks it’s desirable (I would, however, encourage you to read this piece, which says so more eloquently than I ever will). I’m not going to go on and on with what a sickeningly sexist point this is. I am not even going to rant about the fact that “blobbies” is not a real word.
I am going to say this: If the best charge you can level about Lena Dunham, or about any woman, in the public eye or otherwise, is that she is fat, you are boring and about as irrelevant as Howard Stern post moving to Sirius Radio.
Last night at a party I jokingly yelled out, in mock exasperation, “I am ATTRACTIVE” (in the context of a conversation, guys—I don’t just demand that my attractiveness be recognized by no one in particular)(well, mostly not).
And then I went home and realized that I had cribbed this line—not the three words in that order, of course, but the declaratory tone and the thought to say this in the first place—from fictional character Liz Lemon in the “she’s actually, finally getting married!” episode of 30 Rock.
It used to really bother me that girls would be like, “I am JUST like Liz Lemon,” because a) um, no you aren’t? and b) I suspect that this actually means, “I am JUST like Tina Fey,” which you are not, because there can only be One, because no girl—and I say this with a deep affection for the show—is actually going to think of herself as being as socially dysfunctional as L squared. (Aside: I learnt last night that La Fey does not use or like Twitter, which is obviously a devastating blow. End aside.) So if you’re wondering how the fact that this fictional character has been so deeply internalized by me that I would imitate her in protesting my attractiveness too much tastes, please know that it’s as sour as a Lemon.
In a bar last night, I asked a German friend of one of our program assistants how my accent is. This I asked largely in jest, because it is, admittedly, quite terrible.
I like you much better when you speak in English, he said. When you speak German, you sound more masculine.
His female friend interjected to say that she disagreed, that that’s not true, that I shouldn’t listen to him (I, of course, had already started speaking in a false high voice). But of course, I did and will listen, and will now think that I sound masculine every time I go to speak German.
This is what I get for asking about my accent in a bar.
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