Who is Lena Dunham? The native New Yorker is a writer, actress, producer, director, podcaster, and lightning rod for controversy. She is also the co-creator of Lenny, a feminist newsletter that focuses on issues like wage inequality and reproductive rights, and features long form interviews, guest essays, fiction and poetry.
In her early 20s Dunham wrote, directed and stared in Tiny Furniture a feature length independent film that garnered acclaim and the attention of HBO. She is the creator of Girls which early observers pegged as a millennial version of Sex in the City. The series is in its sixth and final season. It is about four friends living in New York, exploring a world of privileged twenty-somethings trying to navigate their way through complicated and toxic friendships, awkward sexual relationships, uncertain work prospects and rocky career paths following college graduation. The characters aren’t always likeable and their choices are often frustrating as they create their own roadblocks that throw their fragile dreams and aspirations into jeopardy. The show has launched thousands of think pieces and has drawn scathing criticism for not being culturally diverse or representative of its generation. One of the most credible aspects of Girls is that it is a show about being in your 20s by an executive producer, writer, and star, who is actually in her 20s.
Lena Dunham has a voice that should be heard. In 2012, she earned a $3.5 million dollar book deal and penned the essay collection, “Not that Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s ‘Learned.'”
Here are 15 Lena Dunham quotes to inspire you to fight for what you really believe in, speak your deepest truth and find your unique voice.
1.) “I have to write people who feel honest but also push our cultural ball forward.” ― Lena Dunham
2.) “You’ve learned a new rule and it’s simple: don’t put yourself in situations you’d like to run away from.” ― Lena Dunham
3.) “It’s not brave to do something that doesn’t scare you.” ― Lena Dunham
4.) “Respect isn’t something you command through intimidation and intellectual bullying. It’s something you build through a long life of treating people how you want to be treated.” ― Lena Dunham
5.) “Guys warning girls not to fall in love with them is so truly douchey that it should have a higher success rate.” ― Lena Dunham
6.) “I think if you feel like you were born to write, then you probably were.” ― Lena Dunham
7.) “When someone shows you how little you mean to them and you keep coming back for more, before you know it you start to mean less to yourself.” ― Lena Dunham
8.) “Enjoy going through life as yourself.” ― Lena Dunham
9.) “Girls are trained to say, ‘I wrote this, but it’s probably really stupid.’ Well, no, you wouldn’t write a novel if you thought it was really stupid. Men are much more comfortable going, ‘I wrote this book because I have a unique perspective that the world needs to hear.’ Girls are taught from the age of seven that if you get a compliment, you don’t go, ‘Thank you’, you go, ‘No, you’re insane.” ― Lena Dunham
10.) “Part of being a feminist is giving other women the freedom to make choices you might not necessarily make yourself.” ― Lena Dunham
11.) “Don’t wait around for someone else to tell your story. Do it yourself by whatever means necessary.” ― Lena Dunham
12.) “My thoughts on body image are simple: if you are being kind to yourself mentally and physically you never have anything to be ashamed for, ever.” ― Lena Dunham
13.) “There is nothing gutsier to me than a person announcing that their story is one that deserves to be told, especially if that person is a woman. As hard as we have worked and as far as we have come, there are still so many forces conspiring to tell women that our concerns are petty, our opinions aren’t needed, that we lack the gravitas necessary for our stories to matter. That personal writing by women is no more than an exercise in vanity and that we should appreciate this new world for women, sit down, and shut up.” ― Lena Dunham
14.) “I always reminded myself that this wasn’t exactly where I was meant to be, but pit stops are okay on the road of life, aren’t they?” ― Lena Dunham
15.) “But ambition is a funny thing: it creeps in when you least expect it and keeps you moving, even when you think you want to stay put.” ― Lena Dunham
Author: Tara Collum
Tara Collum lives in Toronto and grew up in Muskoka. She is the co-creator of a forthcoming web serial about twins in a small town. She believes it is never too late to be the person you are meant to be. Follow Tara on twitter @99percentsun
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