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Lena Dunham Admits Privilege Helped Her Find Success at 23 with Girls

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At the age of 23, Lena Dunham’s privilege led to her big break on television. While her show, Girls, ended in 2017, she now admits that her privilege is the reason why she got a deal with HBO.

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#Throwback to that first Monday in May when I felt so pretty headed to the gala but I also had a small surgical wound re-open right above my pelvis (thank you and bless you, connective tissue disorder.) After the initial shock- that “couldn't be” *covertly lifts skirts* “oh but it is” – I managed to drag myself to the bathroom where I collapsed and called the doctor's office while @jemima_jo_kirke fanned me with a borrowed Chanel purse and kept saying, "stay with me, Dunham" like an actor on a medical show. And then @cassblackbird found us like that, a real sorry lot, and said "girl, I know you're hurting but you're going to want a picture of this one day." And she was right. Whenever I look at this image I think about the fact that women can literally look this flawless while dripping their own blood, and I also remember how- after the three day hospital stay that ensued- my father had to carry this dress back to my house in a garbage bag, gentle as a puppy in a carrier. (I honestly cared more about protecting that @elizabethkennedynewyork dress than I did about protecting my own body.) I used to think the takeaway of this story was "don't go out on the town if you're not feeling so hot" but now that out on the town seems like a dream from a past life, I think the lesson is something more along the lines of—take any glowing adventure that is offered to you, especially if it involves a bouffant hair do and the Metropolitan Museum of Art at night and the oh so spectacular twinkle of Times Square you glimpse when you're trying to hail a cab downtown. And then one finally slows for you and you get in and he says "where are you going, fancy?" and you say "the hospital, please" and you feel like a woman in a book you once read, with a title you can't remember, but then maybe it's just a book you're going to write. #MetGala

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Despite the criticism, Girls has won many awards including Golden Globes and BAFTA.

The story revolves around four girls living in New York City who are trying to adjust to many demands of being an adult. Although it is mostly fictional, some aspects of the show are based on Lena Dunham’s life. Due to its frequent nudity and openness, Girls have been criticized many times. However, it has also generated a lot of critical acclaim for its raw portrayal of women and their relationships. Apart from Dunham, the cast includes Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, Zosia Mamet, Adam Driver, and Alex Karpovsky. After three years of its last season, the show is again in news. People are discussing how Lena Dunham’s privilege brought this show to life.

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This was one of the last shoots we did as the Girls cast, and it was bittersweet- we were all careening toward our new lives, as precariously and wildly as we careened on these Marc Jacobs heels. I remember trying really hard to just BE THERE, to experience being surrounded by these women, the messy magic of it, since it wasn't going to last forever. We spent six years completely entwined in each other, from five am on- we knew each others coffee order’s, hairpin triggers and special skills. It was as colourful as these outfits and as raw as the cellulite that Glamour let me show off on my thigh. I loved every second of it, even the ones I didn't. Thank you ladies. Happy 2020. @glamourmag @marcjacobs

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In a series of tweets, Lena Dunham’s privilege was addressed by the Girls star.

Since people have started talking about white privilege, Lena Dunham’s privilege also came up. When she pitched her show to HBO, she did so without explaining the plot and characters. At the age of 23, this show gave her career a jump start. However, people have called her out for this. In response to this, she admitted that it was indeed her privilege which helped her do so. On her Twitter account, Lena Dunham addressed this and said:

“Whenever I found out I’m trending, I have to immediately check if I’m alive! Then, I try and see if there’s a constructive dialogue to have on Twitter. Often there isn’t, but today there really WAS. It actually wasn’t a dialogue – it was just me agreeing that the Hollywood system is rigged in favor of white people and that my career took off at a young age with relative ease, ease I wasn’t able to recognize because I also didn’t know what privilege was.”

While talking about the lessons she has learned so far, Dunham said:

“The past ten years have been a series of lessons. The lesson now? Sit down. Shut up, unless it’s to advocate for change for Black people. Listen. Make art in private for awhile- no one needs your book right now lady. Give reparations widely. Defund the police. Rinse & repeat.”

After the show, she also released two books which were equally successful.

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