January should be an exciting time for Lena Dunham, the millennial powerhouse behind HBO series Girls. Her show got picked up for a fourth season before the third even premiered, she’s got a book in the works and her boyfriend and buddy Taylor Swift were nominated for a joint Golden Globe (hey, we can be happy for our significant others and still call ourselves good feminists!).
The last few years have been crazy and thrilling for the 27-year-old New Yorker, but she’s weathered a lot of backlash since the release of Girls, so when she had an aggressive exchange with a reporter last week, it wasn’t much of a shock.
At a TCA panel on Thursday, Tim Molloy broached the subject of nudity on Girls, asking Dunham directly, “I don’t get the purpose of all of the nudity on the show, by you particularly, and I feel like I’m walking into a trap where you go, ‘Nobody complains about the nudity on ‘Game of Thrones,’ but I get why they are doing it… They are doing it to be salacious and, you know, titillate people. And your character is often naked just at random times for no reason.”
“Yeah. It’s because it’s a realistic expression of what it’s like to be alive, I think, and I totally get it. If you are not into me, that’s your problem and you’re going to have to work that out with professionals.”
Some have argued Dunham and executive producer Judd Apatow, who went on to ask whether Molloy has a girlfriend, handled the question with needless hostility. Sure they could have been polite and moved on, but the truth is Lena Dunham has been met with the same criticism since 2012 and she’s ready to talk about other aspects of her passion project. Why is nudity the most interesting thing anyone gets out of a multifaceted program like Girls? Whether it’s your cup of tea or not, you can’t deny there’s a lot more going on than Lena Dunham’s breast shots.
One of the greatest luxuries of all is having the freedom to walk around without clothes on. Pants are uncomfortable, bras are “boob jail” and even shirts can feel itchy and oppressive. There’s something liberating about sitting around with no pants on, and Hannah’s character embraces this when she doesn’t feel like working or just wants to catch up with her BFFs in the bathtub. Lena Dunham isn’t choosing to be naked to repulse anyone or even prove a point about the female body depiction in pop culture. She’s just trying to say that it’s freeing to be naked in the privacy of your own home, whether you’re in the company of your significant other, a close friend or just yourself.
Since its debut in 2012, Girls has been nominated for more than a dozen awards, covered all over the internet and embraced by everyone from Mia Farrow to James Franco. Dunham, who even got to do an event with the incomparable David Sedaris last winter, has had a busy few years, so when the third season of her show is about to air and she’s still being reminded that her boobs aren’t welcome on some TV screens, it makes sense that she’d act a little annoyed. Ask an original question, because this one is painfully boring.
Featured image via Salon