This popped up in my feed. And I’m assuming it’s true. It just sounds like our culture.
I think Julia Roberts had it right in one of my favorite movies of all time, Notting Hill. (Red is Julia Roberts, blue is Hugh Grant, just in case you’ve been living under a rock your entire life and haven’t seen this movie a dozen time)
What is it about men and nudity? Particularly breasts. And how can you be so interested in them?
No, but seriously. They’re just breasts. Every second person in the world has them.
Well, more than that, actually, when you think about it. You know, Meatloaf has a very nice pair.
But they’re odd looking. They’re for milk. Your mother has them. You’ve seen a thousand of them. What’s all the fuss about?
Breasts are functional. They’re also for pleasure, of course, I’m not discounting that. But living in a patriarchal society means that my body is banned because maybe it interferes with the experience of a horny jerk.
“Female toplessness is legal in a lot of places in the US (although not where I live), and I’d be meeting the letter of the law with a couple of Band-aids. But I have a gut feeling that if I go anywhere that there are people—and particularly anywhere there are children—nobody’s going to be too happy about my Band-aids. The enforcement is social; women just don’t go around topless in the US.
It bothers me because it’s unequal, but it also bothers me in its implications: that my body is inherently sexual, and a man’s body isn’t. It feels like men are being viewed through the first-person lens of “it’s nice to feel the sun on my skin, and I don’t mean anything by it” and women are being viewed through the distinctly third-person lens of “it’s inappropriate for me, a heterosexual man, to see her sexy parts.” It ignores the experiences of people who are turned on by male chests and somehow manage to contain themselves when they see one.”
And gosh, golly, gee whiz, all my readers know I’ve never been turned on by a manly chest.
And this is what I was thinking about reading the latest tid bit about HBO Girls.
There’s a scene in season 3 where Dunham’s character rolls out of bed and starts getting dressed, so we see her naked. No surprise there. And there was something about the scene that made me really happy. It felt so real. When I sleep with a guy and then get dressed, he sees me get dressed. When I hang out with my mom she gets dressed in front of me. And the fact that she isn’t Kate Moss doesn’t stop her. It doesn’t stop me either. We women who don’t look like Kate Moss, we get dressed; we get naked and then dressed. Often twice a day.
Lena Dunham’s nudity is a spit in the face of every bit of the patriarchy that says female bodies are exclusively for the purpose of erection fluffing. Because, you know, they aren’t.
They’re for going to work and feeding your kids and 1,000 other things that aren’t “turning on an internet troll.”
Lena Dunham and her radical body-having-ness give me great joy.
What frightens the media most about Lena Dunham is her body ownership. And not in a mermaid, “own it girl!” kind of way, but in an actual meaningful owning of an item kind of way.
Her body is hers for the showing or concealing or storytelling or sharing. And it doesn’t matter what you or me, or reddit, or anyone else in the world says.
And I’m going to try to incorporate that into my body more. And maybe it’s why I find her body so perfect; because she carries it like something that she’s proud of having.