REVIEW: Not That Kind of Girl by, Lena Dunham

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Synopsis (sort of?):

If I can take what I’ve learned in this life and make one treacherous relationship or degrading job easier for you, perhaps even prevent you from becoming temporarily vegan, then every misstep of mine will have been worthwhile. This book contains stories about wonderful nights with terrible boys and terrible days with wonderful friends, about ambition and the two existential crises I had before the age of twenty. About fashion and its many discontents. About publicly sharing your body, having to prove yourself in a meeting full of fifty-year-old men, and the health fears (tinnitus, lamp dust, infertility) that keep me up at night. I’m already predicting my future shame at thinking I had anything to offer you with this book,  but also my future glory in having stopped you from trying an expensive juice cleanse or having the kind of sexual encounter where you keep your sneakers on. No, I am not a sexpert, a psychologist, or a registered dietician. I am not a married mother of three or the owner of a successful hosiery franchise. But I am a girl with a keen interest in self-actualization, sending hopeful dispatches from the front lines of that struggle.

REVIEW:

I wanted to read this book the second I heard it was coming out – I Love GIRLS. Lena Dunham has a sense of humor I can both roll my eyes at and full on belly laugh with, and when it went on sale for $2.99 I bought it right away. I still have a hard time spending 10+ on an ebook, and an even harder time reading actual books now…. this is the pain of my daily living.

I read all the reviews good/bad/indifferent – and the hilarity of one reviewer’s consensus that Lena Dunham molested her younger sister. I love it when someone can take, literally 2 sentences and summarize the author as an incestual pedophile. It is laughable when you read the passage in it’s entirety, as well as the entire book. Dunham’s sense of humor is very dry, tongue in cheek and so self deprecating at times I wanted to reach in and hug her. You my friend are not alone.

This is a memoir – yes it is self involved, thus the word memoir. It is about her – her life – her experiences and she’s putting it all out there to be heard, judged …..and Ms. Dunham, you have massive balls to put it out there for everyone to see. Yes, she is a woman raised in NYC with a family of privilege, that does not make her experiences less than because of her circumstances.

She writes about love – sex – death – summer camp; about things we’ve all experienced in some way shape or form and cuts to the quick, illustrating some of the deepest secrets we all carry around with us from our childhood. It was sad, funny and gave me a huge breath of relief that I’m not the only one that thinks this way – see’s things this way and holds on to the strangest things, because for whatever reason my mind works the way it does.

This book got me through a massive reading slump that I’ve been stuck in for over two months. She made me laugh, she made me cry once or twice, and she made me really see that I’m not as weird as I think I am most of the time.

I’m not going to call her a voice of a generation – or anything that generic, but I am going to applaud her for having the guts to put this out there – and thank her for making me laugh.

You are an artist in so many ways…

I may have never gone to camp, or stepped foot in the state of New York, but growing up in my small NE Oregon town, with the same people my entire life ….. we still have stories, and we still have those people surrounding us that made us feel less than for whatever reason. Whether it was our own insecurities, or ones that were thrust upon us. Because no child ever thinks bad about themselves until someone else does it for them…. and unfortunately those manifest into adult hood and ….. yeah…. makes for some pretty interesting stories.

***

Favorite Quotes

“They would like me enough that it wouldn’t matter if I liked myself. They would see the good in me so that I could, too.”

***

“When someone shows you how little you mean to them and you keep coming back for more, before you know it you start to mean less to yourself.”

***

“I soon gained thirty pounds. Starting high school is hard enough without all your favorite nightgowns becoming belly shirts.”

***
“In 2010 I got the opportunity to make a television show. The network told me they wanted to see my age group, the concerns of my friends and enemies, in graphic detail – and they didn’t seem to be bluffing. If I was going to write honestly about twenty-something life, sex was a topic I’d have to address head on. And the sex in television and movies had always rubbed me the wrong way. Everything I saw as a child, from 90210 to The Bridges of Madison County, had led me to believe that sex was a cringey, warmly lit event where tow smooth-skinned, gooey-eyed losers achieved mutual orgasms by breathing on each other’s faces.”

***

“Since no one has ever accused me of being professional, or of being an actor – I will be honest. It’s fucking weird. Yes, it’s just a job, but most people’s jobs don’t consist of slamming your vagina against the flaccid, nylon-wrapped penis of a guy wearing massive amounts of foundation to conceal his assne. I’ve suffered humiliations such as kneeing my scene partner in the balls, realizing under the bright studio lights that there’s a thick black hair growing out of my nipple, and finding a lubricated prop condom stuck between my butt cheeks seven hours after arriving home.”

***

“Finally, one day, I couldn’t stand it anymore: I walked into the kitchen, laid my head on the table, and asked my father, “How are we supposed to live every day if we know we’re going to die?” He looked at me clearly pained by the dawning of my genetically predestined morbidity. He had been the same way as a kid. A day never went by where he didn’t think about his eventual demise. He signed, leaned back in his chair, unable to conjure a comforting answer. “You just do.” “

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