Well, it took some doing, but the Internet finally filled me with enough umbrage to get me blogging again.
After reading Jezebel’s summation of several critical responses to the latest episode of Girls, here I am, torch in hand, ready to throw down some Realness.
First: I haven’t seen this episode yet. I do watch Girls, and I do enjoy it. However, I am not fangirling Lena Dunham with voracious abandon like so many of my peers. I’m of the opinion that her talent is sometimes a little overrated. Yes, her work is on occasion revolutionary, but at other times the praise she inspires is so… amplified. And I’ll take whatever flak you have to throw at me for saying so.
Still, this post is inspired by the good stuff. Perhaps the best stuff. There are several things that I admire about Ms. Dunham, but so far sparking this conversation is number one on the list. If for some reason you don’t want to read the Jezebel article (though it’s worth a read), here’s the Cliff Notes for what’s happening:
In the latest episode of Girls, the character played by Lena Dunham has a brief, whirlwind love affair with a character played by Patrick Wilson. The critical response has largely been that a girl who looks like Lena Dunham could never – in “real life” – inspire that kind of passion in a man who looks like Patrick Wilson.
Allow me to sum up my feelings about this with my favorite Tavi bitchface.
It has also been argued (by both men and women) that it makes sense because she’s twenty years younger than him, and what guy wouldn’t go for that?
It is simply too shocking to be believed. Maybe it was a dream sequence??
Since RLB is a blog focused on Positivity, if you need more outrage then I suggest a google search on Girls Season 2 Episode 5 for a healthy dose of righteous indignation. There’s plenty of it out there, and justifiably so. While it’s Sorely Tempting, I also will not rattle on about the double standard that exists in our entertainment culture (LD ≠ PW, but SR = KH?) because again, there are many elaborate and eloquent arguments on that subject that are a mere search engine away.
Instead my plan is to reinforce that Women Are More Than Their Looks, and to do so by countering the disbelief now permeating the Girls Recap Blogosphere with some Truth. In this instance, Truth is known as Pictures of Men Considered to Be Gorgeous With Their “Average” Looking* Partners. Alternate title, Men Who Don’t Need to Date Supermodels to Feel Validated. OR, my new favorite:
Women Are Beautiful In Many Ways For Lots Of Reasons.
*For the purposes of this Truth, “average-looking” will include any woman who falls outside current prevailing stereotypes of what defines female beauty. Women who, like you and me, would never walk a runway or appear in Vogue. For the record, I think every single woman pictured here is Absolutely Beautiful.
More to the point, thanks to the nature of celebrity, it’s not even up for debate that any one of these men, at any given moment, could up and leave their wife or girlfriend in favor of a smokin’ hot, social-climbing lingerie model or CW TV star. But here they are, loving the women they are with because they are beautiful, and clever, and intelligent, and hilarious, and tenacious, and charming, and dazzling, and loving, and and and and and…
I might get some backlash for including this last one, but here’s some truth from me. In my opinion, Paul Newman is basically the most handsome man who ever lived. He’s at least in the Top Five of All Time. His wife, Joanne Woodward, was a lovely woman. She was also by no means an Elizabeth or Marilyn or Sophia (thought by many to be the most beautiful women of all time). But look at these pictures.
Look at how much he Loved Her. How much they loved each other. Clearly this love goes beyond the physical, and that’s the kind of love we all want.
Attraction starts with SMELL, people. It’s fucking science. It doesn’t matter where you each fall on some mythical, invented scale of gorgeousness. What matters is how you feel about each other, how you champion one another, and how you LOVE.
End of debate. Drop mic. Lemon out.