For your average woman, Lena Dunham is relatable on so many levels. She’s a total mess, slightly overweight and she doesn’t really give a rat’s arse.
Have you heard of Miss Dunham? Let me give you a brief introduction…
Most of us will know Lena Dunham because of her show Girls. Hilarious? Yes. Original? Perhaps not. If you haven’t seen it, just imagine Sex and the City but less Carrie and more crazy. Dunham herself has said that Girls reflects a part of the population not portrayed in Sex and the City.
What you might not know about Dunham is that she is also a successful author and feminist. Her first book Not That Kind of Girl was published in 2014, and she signed a $3.5 million book deal to get it on the shelves. Pretty impressive considering it’s just a book full of mini essays!
The book itself was based on Dunham’s life. It sparked controversy by covering a series of sensitive subjects such as sexual assault and mental illness from a very real and sometimes humorous perspective. But much like her beloved HBO hit Girls, Dunham still manages to keep it light hearted in the most and totally relatable. Especially for any 20-something out there who isn’t Paris Hilton!
Her effect on the publishing industry
With the above in mind, how has Dunham’s slingshot to fame affected the publishing industry?
Firstly, Dunham has made publishing cool again. Her Girls character Hannah spends season after season trying to get published just like Dunham herself. With Girls being at the forefront of popular culture, it’s not surprising that the publishing industry has become something more young women are considering going into.
Girls, Not That Kind of Girl and Dunham’s crazy PR machine have also given the impression that publishing can be accessible to anyone. Be it a book or a magazine. Dunham is currently writing for the New York Times and guest editing for Stylist magazine too. As a consequence this brings magazines and newspapers into the ‘cool’ fold.
With Dunham editing and writing for both magazines and newspapers, it makes their industries look, seem and perhaps actually be pro-women; something that has long been missing. Along with this, Dunham is pro-LGBT and recently stated she will not be getting married until same-sex marriage is legal in all 50 states. A bold move.
This is an area that will really appeal to the younger generation who are (rightfully so) all for LGBT, equal and any other kind of rights. As a result it reflects extremely well on the publishing industry.
I realise at this point that Dunham perhaps isn’t 100% relatable for everyone out there. Sometimes her hair is pink, her outfits are scruffy and she doesn’t portray an all-round togetherness. Despite these things, it shows that anyone can make it. We don’t have to look perfect (none of us are) or be perfect to be part the publishing industry. This is perhaps Dunham’s strongest message.
In fact, perhaps being slightly weird and off key is exactly what the industry needs…!