Wednesday, May 18, 2022
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Autobiography creates authentic commentary on self-exploration and body image


In Lena Dunham’s collection of autobiographical essays “Not That Kind of Girl,” the “Girls” director and actor tells us “what she’s learned.” Dunham, known for baring it all in her hit HBO series by appearing naked on screen just as often as she does clothed, bares all once again in this uncomfortable, delightful coming-of-age recollection of Dunham’s youth that has females in their twenties screaming “FINALLY. SOMEONE GETS IT.”

The book takes readers on a journey through Dunham’s childhood, teenage and college years. Like most young females, Dunham spent a majority of her youth confused and simultaneously intrigued by her female anatomy and often finds herself exploring her body. According to her essays, Dunham’s curiosity often led to using her sister as prop in order to understand their bodily makeups, an anecdote some readers did not take lightly.

Dunham is no stranger to negative criticism. The author even says she takes it well, but she did not take it sitting down when critics accused her of sexually molesting her sister at the age of seven. The author utilized Twitter to let critics know she wasn’t pleased with this absurd accusation saying “Usually this is stuff I can ignore but don’t demean sufferers, don’t twist my words.”

The rest of the book is filled with cringe-worthy details of regrettable sexual encounters with intimate partners to painfully awkward social encounters, and everything in between. Dunham’s constant self-examination is unveiled throughout the book through glimpses into her personal food journal, where she cataloged and annotated everything she ate throughout the day, to her eleven-year long stint with veganism.

Despite the fact that “Not That Kind of Girl” tells the life story of what some critics call “a privileged and well-compensated celebrity,” Dunham writes, “There is nothing gutsier to me than a person announcing that their story is one that deserves to be told, especially if that person is a woman,” and she does just that, no matter how painful and self-deprecating it may be.

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