I Am Jealous Of Lena Dunham

Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com">Shutterstock
Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com

Let me start this off by saying that I in no way support the rampant, childish trend of calling any woman who doesn’t like another woman’s work — or finds some of her actions problemactic — “jealous.” I have written on the subject, even touching on Dunham herself. I don’t think it is fair or productive to act as though no criticism for a woman’s art can come from another woman without some petty ulterior motive. I don’t like Taylor Swift’s music, for example, but I wouldn’t say I am “jealous” of her. She is a multi-millionaire who gets to have a string of hot boyfriends and make her own music, which is sweet, but I am not aching with a festering urge to trade places with her anytime soon (especially what with the internet’s penchant for tearing her down in a way that can only be described as “mouth-foamingly vicious”).

The point is, I am not down with the name calling, and that includes reducing women with intelligent critiques of art or ideas to a bunch of hair-pulling children. And I even proposed in the be-linked article above that the accusations of me not being a fan of Dunham because I was jealous of her were ridiculous. I was jealous of her in the abstract sense — she is rich and has creative control over her work — but I didn’t feel that she had taken something that was rightfully mine. I have no doubt that, given all of the various projects she is helming almost single-handedly, I would make an extraordinary ass of myself. No one is here to doubt the hard work she puts in.

That being said, in light of recent events, I must confess that (at least when it comes to Dunham), I am jealous. I am not jealous of Beyonce, I am not jealous of Miranda July, and I am not jealous of Emma Watson (okay, maybe a little bit jealous of Watson). But I really am just uniquely jealous of Dunham. She appears to have carved a niche of living out my — and I imagine many others’ — dreams in such a grandiose way that I can only shake in rage that her life is not mine.

To clarify, I don’t watch Girls. It’s not for any political reasons, though it’s clear that many of her comments and actions around race/class/etc have been side-eye worthy. I just don’t really like it — I’ve seen a few scenes here and there and found the acting to be kind of bad and the humor to be not that funny. It just doesn’t speak to me. I know, I’m missing a 20-something chip somewhere deep in my brain. To be fair, though, I also don’t get off on saying terrible things about her ad nauseam and pointing out how much I don’t like her body or her face. (Speaking of which, if your critiques of Dunham’s work or problematic choices include degrading her appearance, you are kind of a terrible person.)

But it has come to my attention that, after her brief stint on the show dating a character played by undeniably dreamy Donald Glover, she has switched things up and is now scripting scenes in which she simulates sweet, sweet coitus with none other than my husband in holy matrimony, Patrick Wilson. AKA the man I have been deeply in love with since somewhere between Night Owl, Little Children, and that Tiffany’s commercial where he plays some rich, Upper East Side husband (a comercial which may or may not have brought me to tears, as it possibly hit me at a deeply menstrual moment). The point is, he is my one true love, and Dunham got to roll around in the self-scripted sheets with him. This sly cat is putting herself in scene after scene with beautiful dudes, all whilst signing trillion dollar book deals and being the toast of everything.

And it just seems to have all happened so fast. I guess I was not prepared when I opened up my internet this morning, only to see her sprawled out on a bed with my slightly-nebbishy-yet-undeniably-foxtastical husband. It was too much, too soon. She has achieved so many of the things that I would give perhaps both kidneys to be able to, and I don’t even dig her show. I can’t even deal with it. What I would not give to be the creative force behind my own show in which I wrote scene after scene of me frolicking in a field of onion rings and 69-ing with Armie Hammer.

This bitch is living the dream, and I can’t handle it. You win, internet and various media outlets which will not stop giving her the world’s zestiest reach around simply for breathing. I’m jealous. You did it. I hate you. TC mark

Chelsea Fagan

Chelsea Fagan founded the blog The Financial Diet. She is on Twitter.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

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