A basic communication theory that I too-often recite is that self-disclosure breeds intimacy. We enter relationships and begin this choreography in which the more we reveal, the closer we become. Not That Kind of Girl is the perfect case study for this, as Lena Dunham welcomes readers into a deeply personal realm, and soon every story carries the charm of an effusive best friend.
One of the most common criticisms that Dunham’s work receives is that it is far too self-absorbed. Her creative life is centered on her personal life, and what exactly that contributes to our cultural canon is practically a topic of obsession. Perhaps there is resistance to her work because its impact is counterintuitive; often, universal experiences are expressed and felt most strongly within the details of a single individual’s life. This is proven time and time again in how we respond to books, music, the news, and more. Not That Kind of Girl embraces a willingness to share that feels far from self-absorbed; it comes off bold and even a little brave. Difficult or awkward moments are tempered by a strong sense of humor, often self-deprecating, which along with sarcasm happens to be my favorite brand of humor. Continue Reading →
I am in Urban Outfitters and I really do not like that copies of Not That Kind of Girl are found in tall, neat stacks next to every cash register. I feel a healthy degree of guilt and distress whenever I embrace a trend that has long been adopted en masse.
I am in the library and there is a boy sitting across from me who is studying some version of math, though the text that is not numbers or brackets or Greek letters is in Chinese, so it is difficult to say. I feel alarmed that I understand nothing of what he is reading. Then again, he may feel the same way about my reading Not That Kind of Girl.