‘Girls’ HBO Series Sets New Naked Boundary!
Updated: February 22, 2013
In a previous blog I talked about the familiar-but-often-unnoticeable use of body doubles for actors on the big and small screen.
So what would happen if we saw a “flawed” and imperfect naked body on screen? Would we look away? Would we feel a sense of connection to another human being who isn’t perfect but who dares to walk outside society’s comfort zones?
Would we stand up and cheer, or perhaps give a slow clap ovation from our seat on the couch?
In a recent review of the HBO series, ‘Girls’, the reviewer lambasted Lena Dunham’s character for being naked on screen even though her body is not studio-perfect. Now I love, love, love the show. It is smart, fresh, funny and a true pleasure to watch so I was especially interested in all of the chatter when I first heard about the article. Not surprisingly, the blogosphere was on fire and many female writers had a few choice words to share about their frustration with the reviewer’s perspective.
But was the original reviewer just stating what some of us think but don’t speak? Could it be we are uncomfortable looking at a naked body that isn’t our version of ideal?
Unfortunately we hold others to the same standard we hold ourselves – the pedestal of perfection. We compare ourselves to them and feel bad about ourselves. Even worse yet, we compare ourselves to others and dislike them.
We see them with the same flaws we don’t want to see in ourselves and we despise them for it. We look at someone who has a little extra cushion around the stomach, whose rear end is not round and perky, whose breasts are not standard all-attainable perfection and we judge. We judge harshly. We don’t like what we see in them because in essence we are looking at ourselves. We spend so many waking hours in the self-talk continuum of degrading ourselves for “letting myself go”, not having enough discipline, being weak, and being less than.
Have you ever uttered these words “are you kidding, you look great” to a friend who was down on herself for putting on a couple of pounds? Of course you have, we all have and we’ve meant it. We give her a break but we are not willing to do the same for ourselves.
We are not the living version of a Barbie doll and yet we still have fabulous lives. We love, we are loved and we have the opportunity to make changes in our lives every single day if we want to. Self-compassion is key to our own weight release and loving our bodies as they are. Just don’t forget to practice compassion for others who don’t look like you, and more importantly, who DO look like you!
Here is a link to the ‘Girls’ Executive Producer’s response to the reviewer’s article.
Do you watch the show? I’d love to hear your comments. Please share them here.
Love and blessings,
This is such a hot button topic for me. Giving myself compassion somehow did not end up in my tool box. I can see the beauty in others all around me, but I cannot see beauty, attractiveness or even “OK-ness” in myself. This self loathing spills over into the kind of men I find attractive. I regularly overlook the comfortable, stable man (carrying 10-50 extra pounds) in favor of the image-obsessed narcissist. But at least I’ve recognized this tendency in myself and have taken myself out of the “arena” until I can get my attitude adjusted.
Time to love the beauty of our unique curves, and the celebrate and respect glory of this miracle we call our body that is our vehicle through this trasitory plane. I hope more and more shows show “normal” people more often until our view of normal is excepting everyones varied shape and size.
I don’t have HBO and would love to watch this show. The people I have heard bashing her makes me sad. I had a male acquaintance who is an actor in L.A. Post that she is disgusting and “promoting obesity” on that show. Made me ache to read that and the convo that followed. I don’t feel that I am able to be wise about this or the talk about Chris Christie lately. It all just leaves me, if I am honest, feeling sad.
Initially I was shocked and embarrassed for Lena when I saw her baring her body with no shame. But then I realized how screwed up my thinking was. I am still struggling to undo the programming from 20 years of reading every fashion magazine possible.
I freaking celebrate the fact that Lena has the cojones to do her own sex scenes. It symbolizes where we are heading as a society, total self acceptance. Some people will not be ready for it though, just another step in our evolution.
Katherine Hepburn chastizes Humphrey Bogart’s charater in the movie “The African Queen” for blaming his bad-boy behavior on his “human nature” as she reminds him: “Nature… Mr. Alnut…. is what we are here to overcome & rise above…” Aren’t we here to do just that? “Rise above” our own need to judge/condemn others for their looks? What purpose does it serve to judge/condemn/approve other’s looks ALL of the time when we simply don’t need to? How do you help this world when judging/condemning others? Does it bring more love or harmony into this world? Or more disharmony, self-hatred, self-abuse and imbalanced thinking? Yes! There is a time when we need to “judge” beauty/attraction: When pairing up as a couple. Not everyone, everbody, all of the time, anything goes, continuously non-stop! Truth be told, we abuse, over-use and wallow in our “human nature” to judge/condemn others for their looks. Clearly, it’s time to let go of this primitive, unbalanced thinking as it disempowers all of us. If Lena Dunham’s body turns your off, turn the channel… problem solved! What gives you the “right” to judge and condemn others when you do not want others to judge and condemn you? If you don’t think someone is attractive, mumble those thoughts to yourself, turn, walk-away and E-V-O-L-V-E…
I am with you all the way on this one. WE need to evolve and the comments against this vibrant brilliant artist and story teller are a reminder for us all to consider this very thing- that we are indeed here to ” rise above” our base human nature to become better humans with more compassion for others and a true celebration of our diversity. Change the channel on the TV or the channel in our hearts and minds? The source of our condemnation lies within us just as the source of acceptance and honor. I always remember when I made the error of passing judgment on someone else and I flipped to a page in a book that reminded me ” when one finger points out , the other 4 point back at me”. When we condemn another we are condemning what we disown and deny within us too.
Thanx for writing!