If any on you have ever viewed a television show on HBO, you know that they often feature naked women. A lot of naked women. HBO’s GIRLS is no different. However, one aspect is. The women on this show look like women that you see every day. None of them conform to what the entertainment industry deems as beautiful. Let me make it clear that when I say “entertainment industry beautiful” I do not believe that this is a legitimate definition of beauty, but I’ll get into that later. Recently, on this show the star (and head writer and director and also she’s only 28), Lena Dunham, engaged in explicit acts with the actor Patrick Wilson. Wilson absolutely fits the description “entertainment beautiful.” He is tall, muscular and has a jawline that could cut granite. After the episode aired, and audiences had seen an eyeful of these characters, there were some shocking reviews. Real journalists, with actual journalism degrees, tore this episode apart because they found Dunham’s writing wildly unrealistic. They claimed that a guy like that could never go for a girl who looks like that.
This statement is ludicrous for a number of reasons. The first one being the absurd idea that a woman’s only worth is determined by the way she looks. Are the attributes of this character immediately discarded simply because she is not a size two with bright skin, and shiny hair? The fact that people find the idea of a handsome man having sex with a woman who is less hot than him unrealistic is simply horrifying. There are many, many examples of female “10s” hooking up with male “5s” in television and movies. If you need proof, look at every raunchy, high school-themed comedy that has come out in the past 20 years. Every time one of these movies comes out, there are no comments on the sexual eligibility of these male characters. So why are female characters subjected to this kind of judgement? The negative reviews of this demonstrate the fact that, in our culture, it is absolutely normal to view a man as more than a body, but ridiculous to look at a woman for the whole woman that she is.
The second problem I have with these reviews is this: who the hell has the right to say that Lena Dunham is not beautiful? Who has the right to determine the beauty of another? Despite what we are led to believe by the Internet, there is no one standard for beauty. Someone cannot be too fat or too skinny to be beautiful. Someone can not be too pale or too dark, too tall or too short. I don’t mean to preach, but I despise the fact that we are continually encouraged to view our bodies as inadequate. If you still believe that a guy like Patrick Wilson will not get with a girl like Lena Dunham, then I suggest you read this tweet from Wilson’s wife.
This issue is very important to me because I believe that it provides a single example of a major issue in our country. We are bombarded with images and statements that enforce negative opinions of ourselves. We are set up to feel inadequate and inferior, when in reality the only thing to be ashamed of is claiming that a guy like that could never get with a girl like her. I am not going to tell you that real beauty is on the inside because I am sure that wonderful message is being spread by mothers everywhere, but I am going to tell you that no one has the right to judge your beauty. That privilege is yours, and yours alone.