I saw that Lenda Dunham was on the cover of Vogue this month.
Do you know who she is? Lena Dunham writes and stars in that show Girls that's on HBO. I don't have HBO because I am not rich. But I DO have Netflix and I downloaded seasons one and two and I am obsessed with it.
People don't like Lena Dunham. They're annoyed that she's not traditionally beautiful, and that her character isn't likable, as opposed to those likable male characters who head mobs or sell meth. They want her to be pretty and quiet and giving. You know, the way a girl is supposed to be.
I like Lena Dunham. Or at least I like the character she plays. And hell, I like her too, if only because she's this young and this sure of herself already. She could be a complete monster to deal with--if I'd had her success at her age I would've been insufferable. I'm insufferable now, and I'm old and a failure.
Anyway, I'm excited about this. "Lenda Dunham is on the cover of Vogue," I told Ned. "Could this be a sign? Could this be the era of the quirky girl? If so, MY ERA HAS ARRIVED!"
"Haven't quirky girls always been in?" asked Ned. "What about Zoe Deschanel?" Ned knows I abhor Zoe Deschanel. And not just because I wish she'd narrow her eyes for five seconds and open her own damn can of tomato soup. It's because she's TRYING to be weird. Those of us who are truly weird resent it, and we always see though you. And I think we PARTICULARLY resent traditionally beautiful women trying to also be weird. You get enough attention. Go show off your bangs.
The thing is, it's not easy to be the weird girl. A lot of people don't like you on sight, because they don't understand you and don't have the imagination to try. It used to make me feel bad, and now it makes me feel bad for the sad beige person who doesn't get me.
I mean, trust me, I know I am not a TV star who's on the cover of Vogue and who's talented enough to be getting all the attention Lena Dunham is. But she's one of my people, just like Tilda Swinton and Sarah Jessica Parker and the woman in the next cubicle at work who bursts into song 14 times a day. We're people who don't care what other people think, mostly because we've had to not care, because most people quite naturally think there's something a little off about us, and people don't react well to off.
Did you ever take that test, where someone asks what kind of animal you'd be and why? Then they ask what's your second choice?
Your first choice is how you want the world to see you. The second answer is how you really are. At the time, 20 years ago, my first choice a black leopard, because they're mysterious and sexy.
My second answer was a pink flamingo, because they're quirky and interesting.
And I really feel like if you asked me today and I didn't know the trick behind that question, I'd pick pink flamingo first.
So you go, Lena Dunham. You keep being you, and maybe someday the world will find the interesting girl superior to the pretty girl, or the workout girl or the demure girl. Maybe the world will say hey! Someone who thinks for herself, who has original ideas, who looks at the world in a way that's different! Yeah! Let's value that!
Or not. And if not? Fuck 'em with your flamingo bill.