Words of wisdom from Lena Dunham's mom
We’re obviously mega familiar with Girls queen Lena Dunham, whose sass has been known to ruffle society’s feathers, but have you ever Googled her mom? Probably not, but you should. Dunham frequently attributes her staunch feminism to her dear mother, saying she’s her ultimate feminist role model. Lena did not lie and as it turns out, her mom is pretty darn cool, you guys.
Besides a few casual mentions of her “artist parents” in her book Not That Kind of Girl, and the mom role in Tiny Furniture, we didn’t know much about Dunham’s mom so we did a little sleuthing. Her mom, Laurie Simmons, has been making waves in the art world since the mid-1970s and her art and photography deals primarily with how women are portrayed in media, which compliments Dunham’s work really nicely.
Just like her daughter, Simmons isn’t afraid to share her opinions, especially when it comes to gender equality. She says that women are still under “painful pressure to look perfect, be skinny and cool.” She also just this week gave a great interview to the The Independent mentioning (among other things) she’s disappointed we women are still facing the same struggles that we were decades ago:
Aside from dropping casual and brilliant truth bombs, Simmons has won numerous awards and accolades for her art, which typically feature women’s legs attached to household objects such as dollhouses, cupcakes, and gloves — all depicting the way women are expected to constantly perform. She’s even used life-size sex dolls dressed as geishas and created Blythe-esque human dolls posed in various domestic scenery.
Considering all this, it’s not surprising that her daughter would grow up to become the powerhouse feminist that we hold pretty close to our hearts. What does Simmons think about her daughter’s work? “I feel like Lena makes work that is honest in some way, with an eye towards what she really knows and has experienced,” she told The Independent, “that’s what I think she’s most likely (and most hopefully) gotten from me.”
And what about Dunham’s dad? He’s an acclaimed artist, too. Simmons proudly states: “Lena was raised by two feminists. I would say her father and I have equally influenced her worldview. We’re at a point in history where I question what it would mean for anyone to say they’re not a feminist.”
So what we’re asking here is, when can you adopt us?