Lena Dunham: The Voice of a Generation?



I will admit, I was a bit late to jump on the Girls train. I mostly attribute this to the fact that I don’t have access to HBO. Once I finally gave the show a chance, it took me all of one episode to understand the show’s following.  Granted there are many valid criticisms of the show. Still, in spite of the show’s flaws, I love the fact that someone is at least trying to speak about this weird time in a twenty-something, fresh-out-of-college female’s life when she realizes she is ill-equipped to be the fully functional and successful adult that she always thought she would be.

Girls begins with the main character Hannah (played by Lena Dunham) finding out she is going to be cut off financially from her parents and losing her job. Admittedly Hannah makes a lot of really bad decisions, as do her friends, but I would be lying if I said there were not a great many times while watching this show that I just thought to myself, “Yes! I know exactly what she is talking about!” No, on the surface my life is not anything like that of a promiscuous, single, twenty-something aspiring writer living in New York City. I am a 24 year-old married woman living in Arkansas, and I would not trade lives with Hannah for anything.  Still, I find there is more common ground between us than one might expect. I have spent the last two years since I graduated from college having no clue what I was doing at least 70% of the time. Life is weird. It is sometimes terrible, often doesn’t make sense, and rarely turns out the way you think it will. The truth that no one ever really tells you is that sometimes, you have to make it up as you go. Like Hannah, “I want what everyone wants. I want all of the things.”  It is finding out how to get them that is the tough part.

It is likely that for many of you Dunham is not the ideal voice for the 20-something woman, and I have read many thought-provoking critiques of Girls that have helped me to understand your point.  Still, I would be lying to you all and to myself if I said I didn't love it, and I personally have no problem with any woman trying to share some truth about life and making me laugh until I cry in the process.


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