Sunday, December 28, 2014

Words but no ideas from the voice of her generation

Hannah, Lena Dunham’s character in the HBO hit series Girls, declared herself to be the voice of her generation. Ever since then, the media has continued to refer to Dunham as such. She has become the pinup for Generation Y and whose life in the social media age means that every part of her life is open for examination by anyone who cares.  

I had high hopes from this book. I was interested in what she thought of her success and media reactions to Girls. I also wanted to know what it was like to be a twenty-something young woman in 21st century America.

Instead we got a “collection of essays” that revolved around her various sexual encounters, her fears and many anxieties. We learn that her uterus leans to the right. We also learn what her top ten health concerns are.

In true Gen Y style, she publishes a book about herself (including her sex life and therapy sessions) without much substance. She over-shares without actually saying anything. She is amazingly insightful but it would have been great to see that level of self-awareness placed in a bigger context to make some kind of social commentary. Not That Kind of Girl lacked a narrative, or rather, a tread to link each essay to each other.  
There were aspects that I enjoyed. With so many images of what women are supposed to look and be like, it is a little refreshing to read Not That Kind of Girl where she writes about her own anxieties and struggle with her weight, etc.

I hope she does write again because I like her perspectives but I just hope that next time she'll have the maturity (or the ability to resist pressure from the media to publish something just because she's famous) to write something more substantial.



  1. I actually couldn't finish her book. I didn't feel like I was learning anything from her writing. Just another poster girl.


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