As a twenty something woman, my main soul-testing angst stems from my relationship between age and achievement. You know, that at 24 you should be vaguely in the career of your choice albeit on the bottom rung. Or that at 28 you should be earning your age (x 1000). Or that by 29 you should own a blog and a house and your dream job and have had a pet die on you at some poit. You know, really angst-worthy stuff.
All of which made news of Girls' Lena Dunham’s multi-million pound book deal really grating. This autumn, Lena sold a book about "frank and funny advice on everything from sex to eating to traveling to work" to Random House for $3.7m. We think the book might be illustrated but still. That’s almost $4m. For a book. Not film rights, or a screenplay chucked in, just the book. Oh and Lena’s 26. Whatever.
Still, we’re not going to hate on Lena Dunham. We love her and love Girls and her shape-shifting hair and inexplicable tattoos and her wincingly precise observations on being young and vaguely privileged in modern times. Plus, given the scripting of Girls, we’d definitely follow her advice provided it in no way bears any resemblance to Hannah’s social/romantic/career trajectory. With that in mind, here are 10 things we can expect from Not That Kind of Girl: Advice by Lena Dunham judging by various possibly wholly inaccurate reports:
1. How to lose your virginity
Not too late. Not too early. With someone you like(ish). And with measured expectations. Also with huge disregard as to when your mother birthed you because it probably wasn’t the first time she had sex. So maybe don’t write a vow of celibacy as a young girl based on that age then, Lena.
2. What to eat as a young person so you don’t end up weird about food (detailed diet journal included)
Well. Don’t think too hard about what other girls - like Joana from camp, Lena – look like. Or maybe, like Lena, go healthy and vegan and get your vegan dinner party profiled in the NY Times. Win win.
3. How to die/how not to die
It doesn’t matter so long as you think about it deeply and extensively.
4. How to stay focused at work
Don’t worry too much about this. Provided you get a job, turn up on time and limit your Facebook usage to, ooh, zero between 9-5 you’ll be fine.
5. How not to ruin a potential relationship
Be cool. Be nice. Brush your hair. Don’t say anything of meaning when you’re drunk unless it’s really lovely. Also: learn to dance.
6. How to be a feminist from a very young age
Ask your mum. Alternatively, like Lena, attend your first Women's Action Coalition meeting at age three.
7. How to not lose your mind from a very young age
See a therapist. Lena did aged seven and she turned out OK.
8. How to interact with other, normal people
Via manual labour, working in a coffee shop or attending university: try picking the cheapest halls and ticking the 'smoker' box on your application form. When Lena went to hers, she ‘suddenly had the sense that my upbringing hadn't been very "real."’ Given her upbringing we can see that.
9. Why you shouldn’t keep a diary
We disagree with this. Looking back at my teenage diary is LOL. And makes so many painful, pubescent events make sense. Lena didn’t write a diary however because ‘if a girl writes in her diary and no one's there to read it did she really write at all?’ Sort of like the philosophical experiment involving the tree falling in the forest. Except involving boys.
10. What a FUPA is
It is a Fat Upper Pussy Area which grows and grows the older you get. It happens.