Dunham has changed the game on how young women can talk about their bodies, and their lives, and their problems. But my general reaction to this sentiment is UGH because we had to wait for someone to do that. I can be funny and popular now because the general public has a frame of reference for me. People can now qualify how funny or attractive I am based on another human being's life.
It's exciting to be living in an era of television where we see more and more clever women gracing our TV screens -- especially ones who look and act like us. But at the same time, there seems to be a growing attack on femininity in the name of progress. And that's why Mindy Kaling's brand of feminism is becoming increasingly important.
Girls, which just began its third season, is often criticized for indulging privileged people's problems. But the show actually critiques first-world entitlement. Girls creator Lena Dunham doesn't endorse her characters' behaviour or ask us to feel sympathy for them; she wants their personalities to expose our own weaknesses.
When Lena Dunham's Vogue cover was released on Wednesday, I couldn't hide my disappointment. There was Lena, looking beautiful but we didn't get to see if she was wearing pants or a skirt or maybe even shorts --- or nothing at all! -- because the editors decided to use a close-up shot of the Girls actress. My problem with Lena's Vogue cover, Mindy's Elle cover and all the others is this: Continually refusing to show an average woman's body on the cover of fashion magazines sets a dangerous precedent for future covers. It gives off a mixed message: Yes, we want cool, smart, funny gals on our covers but their bodies aren't good enough to show off.