Lena Dunham has got you covered [Photo: Getty]
Lena Dunham is pretty cross with Kanye West. ICYMI, Kanye debuted the video for his single ‘Famous’ last weekend and the Internet is still basking in the controversy. The video features a whole host of celebrities including Rihanna, Caitlyn Jenner, Amber Rose and Taylor Swift, lying naked in bed with Kim and Kanye in what is meant to be a recreation of Vincent Desiderio’s painting ‘Sleep’.
The fact the video features her own BFF Taylor Swift may have been enough to get Lena’s feathers ruffled, but as she pointed out on Facebook it’s the deep sexism and female objectification within the video that’s really got her riled.
In a Facebook post called Peeking From Between My Fingers, Lena expressed her upset at seeing women she admires and friends portrayed in the manor they are in the clip.
“Like many pop culture addicted Americans, I wait with bated breath for what Kanye West will do next. Aside from his Twitter mayhem, he has created some really “next level shit” as the kids would say,” she wrote.
“I could also happily watch Kim Kardashian West chip the paint off a window ledge for hours and be fascinated. I admire that whole family, love the way they depict women as better in numbers and masters of their own destiny. I’d spend all summer at Kamp Kardashian. But it’s possible to hold two competing thoughts in your mind and the ‘Famous’ video is one of the more disturbing ‘artistic’ efforts in recent memory.”
Unimpressed! Lena isn’t thrilled by Kanye’s latest vid [Photo: Rex Features]
Touching on the recent Standford rape case, Lena explains that the video gives her “a sickening sense of dis-ease.”
“I know that there’s a hipper or cooler reaction to have than the one I’m currently having,” she continues. “But guess what? I don’t have a hip cool reaction, because seeing a woman I love like Taylor Swift (f**k that one hurt to look at, I couldn’t look), a woman I admire like Rihanna or Anna, reduced to a pair of waxy breasts made by some special effects guy in the Valley.”
But while we were giving Lena a metaphorical round of applause for being able to put so eloquently what many of us have been thinking, we realised it isn’t the first time the ‘Girls’ star has had women’s backs.
So here’s to the many times the actress/writer/all round fabulous person has done her bit for the female of the species….
The time she stood up for women in the workplace
During the 2015 Hollywood Reporter Annual Women in Entertainment Breakfast, Lena had a pretty important message for the room full of female media executives gathered. “I am not advocating for a world where women erase men from the workplace, as pleasurable as that might be for me on certain days. I am advocating for all of us here to make it our mission to use our resources and turn this around as a team … It’s the right thing to do and it’s the only thing to do.”
The time she opened up about female anxiety
Having suffered from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and anxiety since she was young, Lena is keen to raise awareness about women’s mental health issues by opening up about her own battles. Earlier this year, Lena sought to draw attention to the stigma surrounding women and mental health medication by sharing two Instagram posts on the subject.
“Lately I’ve been noticing that nearly every pop cultural image we see of a woman on psychiatric medication is that of an out-of-control, exhausting and exhausted girl who needs help,” she wrote.
“But guess what? Most women on meds are women who have been brave enough to help themselves. It’s important that we see normalising portrayals of people, women, choosing to take action when it comes to their mental health. Meds didn’t make me a hollowed out version of my former self or a messy bar patron with a bad bleach job.”
“They allowed to really meet myself. I wish that for every lady who has ever struggled. There’s really no shame”.
Lena’s hope is that seeing someone in the public eye suffering from mental health issues will offer some comfort to young women dealing with the same thing.
The time she encouraged young women to get political
In openly showing her support for Hilary Clinton, Lena’s hoping to engage more women in the political debate. A few months ago, together with her best friend Jenni Konner (one of the producers of Girls), she founded “Lenny.” “Lenny” (Lena + Jenni = Lenny) an e-mail newsletter and an online platform that reaches out to “all of the women of the world and those who love women.” The Lenny letter covers women’s issues such as feminism, style, health, and friendship, but politics is an important strand running through the content, which represents her commitment to encouraging women to have their say.
The time she raised awareness about women’s health issues
Using another Lenny newsletter as a platform, Lena is hoping to raise awareness of endometriosis (a condition where the lining of the uterus grows in other parts of the body) by telling the true story of her own painful ordeal with the condition.
Revealing that she’s suffered terrible symptoms including non-stop bleeding, cramps, exhaustion and even mood swings, the Girls star said that the condition was often mislabeled as appendicitis, colitis or simply female whining.
In writing about her experiences with the disorder, Lena hopes to help other women get properly diagnosed so they can receive the correct treatment.
Standing up for her pal [Photo: Rex Features]
The time she stuck up for Amy Schumer about female body categorisation
When it comes to labelling women based on their size, Lena isn’t having any of it. After her pal Amy Schumer slammed Glamour magazine for categorising her as plus-sized Lena weighed in to say women shouldn’t be grouped based on their size.
"I think fashion should be for women and it should be for all women,” she told PEOPLE at The Hollywood Reporter’s 35 Most Powerful People event. “We did an interview recently on Lenny with Beth Ditto who just launched a line that is technically plus-sized but what she really cares about is just putting women in clothes they can feel good about because so often we’ve assumed women who aren’t size zeros just want to put themselves in a tent.”
Lena has had her own image battles with magazines, after accusing a Spanish mag of photoshopping her image, then being forced to apologise when they claimed not to have, wants to see a more inclusive fashion industry where women aren’t segregated based on their body shapes.
The time she called out Justin Bieber about rape culture
Her Facebook post about Kanye’s latest video isn’t the first time Lena has challenged a celebrity about sexism and sexual consent. Last year she took to Twitter to voice her opinion about Justin Bieber’s What do you mean? video. “Let’s do away with pop songs where a girl nods yes when she means no and vice versa, k?” she wrote.
The time she defended female film roles
Don’t get her wrong, she is super pleased for fellow Girls star, Adam Driver who has been offered so many amazing acting roles since the show. She’d just like to see the female stars get the same sort of love. “People are ready to see Adam play a million different guys in one year – from lotharios to villains to nerds. Meanwhile [co-stars] Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke and Zosia Mamet are still waiting for parts they can get interested in” she told SXSW Film Festival attendees.
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