"Lena Dunham"

Primary Authors: Lindsey Eveleth and Carl Park

The primary authors are the individuals who drafted the first version of the material which could have been different than the currently published version.

In an industry overrun by men, Lena Dunham is a shining feminist star. She creates blatantly honest, fiercely smart dramas showing the realistic experiences of her contemporaries. Dunham's loud and snarky voice is just beginning to be heard and will no doubt be an unwavering presence in the arts for years to come.

Dunham was born and raised in New York City; the setting for most of her film and television work. To be an artist was considered the norm in the Dunham family. Her father, who has appeared in very few of her is an pop art and her mother is a photographer. She attended St. Ann's, which is a private school in New York City that focuses on the arts.

When Dunham was in high school, she was a self proclaimed loner. Her peers of that era describe her as not having many friends, but she was a known feature on campus. During high school, she had her beginnings in what would lead to her film career; writing a number of scripts and even having her plays put on at her school. One in particular, that she wrote at fourteen, took place at an abortion clinic, proving that even from an early age Dunham had a taste for the controversial.

Once she graduated from high school, Dunham moved on to Oberlin College. While there, she studied creative writing and gained a lot of inspiration for her works. At Oberlin, she created many of the YouTube videos which initially made her famous. In the most notable, The Fountain (2010), she strips down to a bikini and bathes and brushes her teeth in the fountain at her alma mater. From those first YouTube experimentations, Dunham quickly expanded into the worlds of television and film.

After graduating college and moving back in with her parents, Dunham quickly had the idea for Tiny Furniture (2010)—her first mainstream work—which she wrote, produced, and starred in. It only took her two months to write and produce the film, which was released to mostly positive reviews. The film featured her own mother and sister playing themselves and is based on Dunham's life post graduation. This penned commentary impressed producer Judd Apatow and turned into the basis of Apatow's and Dunham's joint project Girls (2012-current), a series for HBO.

Dunham has always taken an alternative view towards relationships, She has not been shy about expressing her views on sexuality in her works or been shy about commenting on her personal life. Dunham has been dating Jack Antonoff, the lead guitarist in Fun, since 2012. Like her characters Aura (Tiny Furniture) and Hannah (Girls), Dunham had her own troubles figuring out relationships. Many of the experiences shared by Hannah and Aura are based on Dunham's own life. Dunham's honesty adds a beautiful element to her works.

Fitting a certain stereotype is no longer a requirement for being a successful and admired woman in Hollywood. Lena Dunham challenges a vast range of rules, ranging from the way that she looks, to the subject matter that she writes about. Lena Dunham has had an overall unique and meaningful impact on filmmaking and is a bright young voice of this generation.

Works Consulted

    Bosman, Julie. "Lena Dunham Signs Book Deal for More Than $3.5 Million." Media Decoder Lena Dunham Signs Book Deal for More Than 35 Million Comments. New York Times, 8 October 2012. Web. 02 Sept. 2014.

    This article contains useful information in regards to her book and her writings, most of the information in this article we deemed to not be relevant to the focus of the paper.

    Hiatt, Brian. "Lena Dunham: Girl on Top." Rolling Stone. N.p., 28 Feb. 2013. Web. 02 Sept. 2014.

    This article contains a lot of biographical information as well as information about her works. A lot of the information from this article ended up being cited in this essay.

    "Lena Dunham's Big Dreams Rest On Tiny Furniture" NPR. NPR, 6 Dec. 2010. Web. 02 Sept. 2014.

    This article has a focus on her earlier works before her mainstream success.

    Migdol, Erin. "Lena Dunham Boyfriend: 'Girls' Star Won't Marry Until Gay Marriage Is Legal." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 14 Jan. 2013. Web. 02 Sept. 2014.

    This article contains information about her views on relationships as well as on her current relationship.

    Rebecca, Mead. "Downtown's Daughter." The New Yorker. N.p., 15 Nov. 2010. Web. 02 Sept. 2014.

    This article contains a lot of biographic information on Dunham and also on her works from throughout her career.

    Suval, Lauren. "Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in the Media." Psych Central.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Sept. 2014.

    This article is an inside look at Dunham's issues with obsessive compulsive disorder. A lot of this information was not necessarily relevant to this essay.

Lena Dunham on cover of Marie Claire, September 2013