As the creator of HBO’s Girls, Lena Dunham developed a reputation for addressing awkward, sometimes taboo, topics in the full – sometimes fully nakie – light of day. Tapping into the growing pains we all face as young adults, Lena used ‘Girls’ to cover topics like anxiety, mental health hurdles, awkward sex and angsty breakdowns in ways that Saved By The Bell and Gossip Girl never did. While at times controversial, Lena’s work and writing has helped open up essential conversations that made so many of us feel safer to talk about them too.
Last week Lena took to social media to address a paparazzi’s attempt at body shaming. We loved her response…
“On the left: 138 pounds, complimented all day and propositioned by men and on the cover of a tabloid about diets that work. Also, sick in the tissue and in the head and subsisting only on small amounts of sugar, tons of caffeine and a purse pharmacy. On the right: 162 pounds, happy joyous & free, complimented only by people that matter for reasons that matter, subsisting on a steady flow of fun/healthy snacks and apps and entrees, strong from lifting dogs and spirits. Even this OG body positivity warrior sometimes looks at the left picture longingly, until I remember the impossible pain that brought me there and onto my proverbial knees. As I type I can feel my back fat rolling up under my shoulder blades. I lean in.” – @lenadunham
Lena’s narrative sounds familiar to so many conversations we’ve had with other women. It reminds us that how we look tells a much narrower story than how we feel.
Everyone’s weight fluctuates. We all know how it feels to make a bit of extra effort when we want to look our absolute best, for vanity’s sake — a wedding, a big celebration or vacation, but, apart from all the efforts and aspirations, do you identify with a weight that feels like your healthy, happy best?
For a wellness site, we don’t talk about ‘weight’ or ‘weight loss’ much. We get a small thrill out of the way Lena describes her happy, balanced lifestyle during the photo ‘on the right’. It’s easy for all of us to fall into the habits of self-criticism and fear surrounding body image and weight. Let Lena’s snap back on social remind you to keep things in perspective, wherever you find yourself on the spectrum of body positivity these days.
Weight and hair and skin health will fluctuate to be sure — the way we conjur unconditional acceptance towards ourselves has the power to stabilize us through it all and take us so much further in our journey towards wellness. We’d love to know your thoughts below!