By Ashika Sethi
Lena Dunham, you may not be that kind of girl, but I’m right there with you.
“Not That Kind of Girl” is a memoir filled with short stories and lists that cover everything from Dunham’s childhood to her current booming career as the creator, writer, star and co-producer of “Girls” on HBO. Dunham’s rousing and humorous dialogue is refreshing and surprisingly relatable. Her knack for humble exposition makes the book every bit more enjoyable to read. It feels like she truly cares about her readers and makes an honest effort to refrain from belittling us. The book reads as though Dunham and I are just two close friends, intimately discussing the events of our week at a local coffee shop.
I finished “Not That Kind of Girl” with overwhelming satisfaction. I admire Dunham for her unapologetic sense of self and her relentless divulging of these platitudes in public. It strikes me in a way that makes me more comfortable with my own mind and body.
It was admirable how Dunham wrote about her experience with sexual repression and running away as a child. I was enraged when I read that people felt they could tell Dunham she didn’t have the right physique to expose her body on television. After finishing “Not That Kind of Girl,” I sit here knowing that we’ve all been through similar ego-crushing experiences.
Thanks to Dunham, I feel inspired to tell my own stories, to be heard, tempered by some and appreciated by few. I felt like she was speaking to me. I am not always perfectly composed or quintessentially “ladylike.” Like many of you, I am just trying to live my dysfunctional life to the best of my abilities.
I recommend this book for all of its humor, honesty and intimacy. My favorite line? “There she goes, backpack on, headed for the subway or the airport. She did her best with her eyeliner. She learned a new word that she wants to try out on you. She is ambling along. She is looking for it.”
I like to think I’m looking for it as well.