I cannot think of a show in recent memory that has garnered as much press and critical conversation as Girls. I find it a little baffling because other shows excite me more, but whatever. If this is what we’re going to talk about, this is what we’re going to talk about.
My issues with Girls are well documented so I am not going to belabor those points. The show has good things going for it too. One of those good things is that we get to see a reasonably attractive (but not conventionally Hollywood attractive) woman, Dunham, with a normal body—curves, gentle sagging, humanity.
Of course, people are going to comment because Hollywood and the fashion industry and other forces have so radically skewed our perception of what a normal body looks like but her body is defiantly exposed to us, every week.
I was idly reading this recap of girls by some men at Slate when I stumbled on curious statements!
Daniel Engber asks, “Why are these people having sex, when they are so clearly mismatched—in style, in looks, in manners, in age, in everything? Why is he kissing her and begging her to stay over? Seriously, Dave—why?”
Later, he says, “I felt trapped by my unwillingness to buy into the central premise. Narcissistic, childish men sleep with beautiful women all the time in movies and on TV, so why should this coupling be so difficult to fathom? I think it’s because Hannah is especially and assertively ugly in this episode. She’s rude (“what did you do?” she asks Joshua, referring to his broken marriage), self-centered (“I’m too smart and too sensitive”), sexually ungenerous (“no, make me come”), and defiantly ungraceful (naked ping-pong).”
The moral here is that lesser attractive women, by this unspoken rubric of attractiveness, need to be polite, sexually generous, graceful, and selfless to deserve the penis and attention of a conventionally attractive man.
MIND THESE RULES, LADIES! There are leagues in fucking. Don’t fuck out of your league if you aren’t prepared to be perfect in every other way.
Now, these guys are just being honest and expressing their opinions, it’s all good, but I found the exchange fascinating and sad. I appreciate that they recognize how the rules are vastly different for less than conventionally attractive men. It’s a shame they cannot accept that there are any number of reasons people are attracted to one another that defy the nonsense Hollywood tries to shove down our throats.
Despite my many issues with Girls, I am at least grateful that Dunham is bringing so many people’s bullshit out, so it can stink in the wide open.