When people find out I’m a writer, or when I talk to friends I don’t see that often about my job, they all say the same thing to me: “oh my god, you’re like Carrie Bradshaw from Sex & The City.”
In theory yes, I suppose this makes me the Carrie, but does my life bare any resemblance to hers, at all? No. Writing for a living and working from home is not a glamorous affair, if I can be bothered to do makeup at all it’s because work is NOT going well and painting my face serves as a good distraction. Her one column a week providing her with enough money to not only rent a one-bedroom flat IN MANHATTEN but support her crippling obsession with shoes and fine dining? Just not plausible.
So I therefore spend a lot of my time on the hunt for big fluffy pink pens and either pretending to be Carrie, or just feeling pissed off and disheartened that I apparently work much harder than she ever did but I’m yet to get my face on a bus.
But who can blame people for making that comparison? Really for a long time, she was the only young-ish female writer out there for us to look up to, even if she wasn’t actually real. Until that is, Lena Dunham popped up on the scene. Lena created, writes, produces, directs AND stars in the HBO series Girls and last year released a book: Not That Kind Of Girl, which if you haven’t read, you must read because it’s wonderful.
Anyway. In my mind, she is the new Carrie Bradshaw, except real, and different in every single way imaginable. But despite the fact that she is undeniably talented and successful, sadly there are a LOT of people out there ready to pull her apart the fast chance they get.
You see Lena is a little different, in that I absolutely believe that she does not give a shit. She has an amazingly normal body, she is covered in tattoos, in her series Girls, she rarely wears any makeup and despite people like Oprah suggesting that really you shouldn’t wear a crop-top if you don’t have a flat stomach, Lena (as Hannah, her character), wears them anyway.
Lena’s character in Girls is Hannah Horvath, who actually isn’t a very nice person, is a writer and watching her sit, not all Carrie Bradshaw at her laptop, trying to write, is something that I can TOTALLY relate to.
It’s NOT a glamorous job for those of us that just aren’t glamorous people (most of us then), so last night, I was out for dinner at a members’ club FULL of creative people and for the first time since August last year I was wearing something that wasn’t long and flowy but tight and short, and no thanks to all the crisps I ate while waiting for someone to come and fix the lift and save us from our fifth floor hell, I felt self-conscious upon arriving,
Until I caught sight of a woman on a sofa who was dressed a bit like Hannah Horvath/Lena Dunham – same hair and style, and it was at that point that I realised that Lena has forged the way, for people to be more comfortable in themselves, whether she meant to or not.
Thanks to her, I boldly removed my hands from my stomach and thrust my stomach out for all to see because, for the first time in a long time, I felt that I was totally cool to look however I wanted because I don’t have to be the Carrie anymore. Everyone has this idea that writers sit around with a long cigarette and a chopstick in their hair, elegantly pondering their next word. What doesn’t occur to them is the fact that maybe, just maybe, if we work from home, we spend a little bit more time in the fridge than we probably ought. Between Lena and her character, they’ve made writing cool again, for completely different, and better reasons, than Carrie Bradshaw ever did.
Lena Dunham receives a LOT of hate online, I don’t understand why really, other than the fact that she is pretty normal looking, kind of overweight-ish-not-really, and that she doesn’t care – that and the fact that she is a woman – who isn’t defined for being super hot. It’s horrid and something that I will never get.
But I just wanted to put my hand up and say THANK YOU Lena Dunham for giving me the confidence to do what I do, without feeling like a failure for doing so without the slap on. Thanks for being so publically normal and thanks for being so brilliant.