Not That Kind Of Girl

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Photography courtesy of @Lenadunham Words by Elizabeth Pollard

When straight talking author/director/producer/actor Lena Dunham released her book ‘Not That Kind Of Girl’, she had to expect a certain amount of backlash. Periods, weird sex, mental health, temperamental friendships and a whole lotta vagina’s is not for the faint hearted but her brutally honest,   conversational prose makes you relate to each and everyone of Lena’s stories. Not just because I’m a twenty-something, white girl, working in the creative industry, but because I’m a woman. Lena sets the mark for true, modern feminism. She not a man hating, ‘baby-killing’, hairy spinster (well she might be…), she’s just one hundred percent proud to be an emotional woman who is still figuring it all out with the help of the world and people around her.

A criticism I once heard of Dunham was that she’s not a feminist, she still needs the ‘happy ending’. Well I ask; don’t we all? Throughout the book Lena describes her insomnia, mental health, struggles with food, friendships and life in general. In the final chapter of the book Dunham writes a guide to running away for a 27 year old, concluding with how finding the man that she loves unconditionally has allowed her to battle the demons she has suffered her whole life. That’s no coincidence and that’s definitely no weakness.

Much of Lena’s book struck painful memories and fears close to my own but somehow reading her relive these situations was like therapy. She didn’t always react the way you should or make the right decisions, the voices in her head didn’t necessarily quieten down but she unknowingly powered through and became the woman she is. She is by no means normal or perfect, but she is refreshingly different to the cookie cutter representations of human being we are all expected to be.

So Lena, I salute you, and I thank you, for opening up about being ‘that kind of girl’.

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