Forget Barbie on the cover wrap of
My personal bathing suit hero is 27-year-old
In last Sunday’s episode of “Girls,” Dunham’s delightfully transgressive HBO series about an annoying quartet of self-involved, post-college adultlets, Dunham spent most of the 30-minute show, set in a resort town on
Dunham's character, Hannah Horvath, did everything in a half-naked state: she went to the beach, she rode a bicycle, she swam, she danced and she curled up on a couch, all the while wearing nothing more than four small triangles of fabric.
What is so fabulous about that?
Dunham is the physical antidote to the poisonous Hollywood rule that a successful actress must appear to be on the verge of starvation at all times. Dunham is a pear-shaped chubette. She is zaftig. She is pleasantly plump. And she embodies the kind of self love we'd all like to see in our daughters.
On Sunday's episode, Hannah hears a group of men making fun of her as she is bent over peering into a shop window. She turns around and sees it's her old college boyfriend, Elijah, now gay, with three friends.
“Nobody was making fun of you,” says Elijah, played by the actor
"I heard you," says Hannah. "It's a good thing I'm not as susceptible to criticism as I used to be."
Think about the female stars of your favorite shows: Julianna Margulies of “The Good Wife,”
Consider the weight of virtually any female movie star.
Thanks to Hollywood and the impossible physical ideal that’s elevated by the culture everywhere we look, our view of what an enviable female body looks like has become almost irreparably warped. The actress
I have no idea how Dunham, who was born and raised in
But she has my gratitude, both as a woman, and the mother of a young woman, for being the sort of real life role model that Barbie, or even her living, breathing Sports Illustrated swimsuit sisters, could never be.
And because of that, I thought Dunham should have the last word: