Lena Dunham is used to baring it all in her countless nude scenes in the HBO series, “Girls,” but she bares her soul in her new memoir, Not That Kind of Girl.
Dunham details with shocking candor her forays into eating disorders, her past as a victim of sexual abuse and her ongoing battles with obsessive-compulsive disorder in a way that’s almost uncomfortable for the reader.
Lena, who won a Golden Globe in 2013 for writing, directing and acting in her hit HBO series, Girls, said constantly showing off her imperfect nude body has helped her become more accepting of her looks.
“I think I radicalized my relationship to my own body in order to accept it,” said Dunham, 28. “To make my body a prop in my work gave it a value I didn’t feel it had before.”
Lena, a self-professed couch potato who hates to work out, has been harshly criticized for not being stick-thin, but has dismissed the cruel fat-shaming, saying it hasn’t kept her from living her life. “People called me fat and hideous, and I lived,” she said. “And now I keep living.”
Of her eating disorder, Dunham writes:
“My food intake was a hard thing to share publicly. A lot of my life and work is sort of about not succumbing to [those pressures], so it’s a little painful to go, ‘Oh but look, there was a time where this dominated every moment of every day.’
In the hospital with crazy stomach pains. It was basically revealed that I’d been just drinking laxative tea and coffee and smoking cigarettes and then eating weird foods at weird hours. I really messed myself up.”
Dunham, who was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world, recently completed her third season of “Girls” and inked a $3.5 million book deal.
Despite her material success, Lena remains ridiculously accessible because of her imperfections, including what she calls her dysfunctional sex life.
“If I could take what I’ve learned and make one menial job easier for you, or prevent you from having the kind of sex where you feel you must keep your sneakers on in case you want to run away during the act, then every misstep of mine was worthwhile,” Dunham writes in the introduction.
Not That Kind of Girl is an amusing lesson in oversharing and offers keen insights into the mind of one of today’s most talented (and truly interesting) young stars.