Lena Dunham dyed her hair green, doesn’t care if you ‘like’ her character

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Just before this year’s Emmys, Lena Dunham made a dramatic hair change. And it was awful!! Lena went from a completely normal brown shade (her natural hair color) to a platinum blonde. To make matters worse, she also got a bowl cut. The whole thing was just… hideous. I kept waiting for Lena to realize that she made a terrible mistake and at the very least, dye her hair back to brown. But no. Instead, Lena has now dyed her hair green. I knew girls who did that… when they were 14 years old. And it was the 1990s. For a 28 year old woman, it just seems like she’s clinging to that twee girlishness that doesn’t really work.

Lena is still in the midst of her book tour to promote Not That Kind of Girl. She was in Brooklyn (obviously) a few nights ago when the topic of character likability came up. I actually liked her a little bit here:

Why are bad guys on TV okay while “bad” girls are not? Last night at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, as part of Unbound: A Literary Series With BAM and Greenlight Bookstore, Lena Dunham briefly talked about how annoying it is to keep having to address the double standard.

“We get so many questions about the likability of our characters,” Dunham said. “But it’s such a weird question to be getting in a world where our favorite television characters are Tony Soprano, Dexter, and Walter White. People are like, ‘He did the drugs for his family!’ and then they’re like, ‘and that girl was mean to her friend, and she should get the death penalty.’ It sometimes feels a little bit like we’re stuck in The Twilight Zone when every time Jemima and I or whatever go out and do a panel, they’re like, ‘How do you feel about playing such bad girls?’”

[From Vulture]

She has a point – men (or male characters) don’t have to worry about being likeable. They can have agency, make bad decisions, commit crimes and treat people horribly and still be beloved. We judge female characters by a different yard stick. That being said, I enjoy this argument more when it’s Mindy Kaling talking about the changes and compromises she’s had to make to run her own show and she’s dealing with daily notes from the suits about her character’s “likability.” I’ve actually watched Girls, and the problem isn’t that the characters are unlikeable, it’s that they’re uninteresting. It’s that they’re boring, self-involved narcissists existing in an echo chamber of hipster white privilege and that’s not very watchable.

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Photos courtesy of Instagram, WENN.

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71 Responses to “Lena Dunham dyed her hair green, doesn’t care if you ‘like’ her character”

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  1. Katie says:

    Narcissism isn’t the answer to proving women don’t have to be likable. Lena Dunham seems to try so hard to force people to hate her. There is nothing attractive about her personality, and I don’t mean attractive in the way of looks. I mean that there is nothing that draws you to her. She’s repellant. I have had plenty of women friends who were staunch feminists but there was something about them that drew you in. They still knew how to laugh. Everything wasn’t so deadly serious. Everything wasn’t a crisis in need of a champion. I could almost like Lena and admire Lena for her individuality if, for one, it actually were individuality, and two, if she could just take the chip off her shoulder for a little while. You can champion for women to be respected and treated equally without being so mirthless and militant.

  2. TX says:

    “the problem isn’t that the characters are unlikeable, it’s that they’re uninteresting. It’s that they’re boring, self-involved narcissists existing in an echo chamber of hipster white privilege and that’s not very watchable.”

    Totally agree here. She fancies herself this genius groundbreaking writer, but I find the show to be just awful. She drank her own Kool-Aid long ago and has gotten progressively worse.
    And the hair? Talk about arrested development. Girl- you are not 14. Having green hair doesn’t make you cool/rebellious anymore. It makes you look like you’re in highschool.

    • Andrea1 says:

      +10000000
      You summed it pretty well

    • Ag says:

      my sister in law, who is 50, colored her hair purple and green recently. granted, it’s her hair, she doesn’t work/doesn’t have to observe any dress codes, whatever. but it made me think of what frances mcdormand said recently – ” There’s no desire to be an adult. Adulthood is not a goal. It’s not seen as a gift. Something happened culturally: No one is supposed to age past 45 — sartorially, cosmetically, attitudinally. Everybody dresses like a teenager. Everybody dyes their hair. Everybody is concerned about a smooth face.” described my sister in law to a t. haha

      • Ginger says:

        I’ve long been wanting to color my hair purple but could not because I work in a conservative industry for my day job. My husband loves the idea and begs me to color my hair purple. However, I’m 45 now and decided that my crazy shade of red that I’ve had for a few years now is crazy enough. I’d still love to put a few purple streaks in it sometime but imagine the upkeep?

      • QQ says:

        I just did it at 34 Finally! And Im deliriously happy about it…And It.Is.Purple… The wondrous part of it is the fact im getting away with it in a Law Office!!!

        The hair color is not the issue..her gigantically unflattering haircut was!!

        Same with her Characters..they dont have to be sweet pliant heroines But They are awful, painfully unfunny, assholey, super self Involved and whiny on top of boring!?

      • Ag says:

        ginger – red with purple streaks would look amazing! (i’ve always wanted to color my hair “run lola run” red, but never had the balls, haha.)

        QQ – you must work in a pretty awesome law office. that would be shot down at mine in a second. haha

      • Kitten says:

        You finally did it, QQ? Yay! I bet it looks killer.

        I would love to dye my hair a funky color.

        I don’t see that as a sign of immaturity or arrested development, just a sign of someone who likes to have fun with their appearance.

      • QQ says:

        AG I work with THEE single most oblivious old man in the World??? Sure, he is racist and awful and Lazy BUT he takes enough vacays and trusts me enough that I’m Largely in an office alone all day.. the ONLY thing he’s ever noticed was when my hair went from Straight to Curly (aka me letting my natural hair Texture happen) and he was so ALARMED and my response was so
        “SO -____- Are You Saying You Have A Problem With How My Hair Grows Out Of My Head”

        That he actually has never said another word, not when I shaved my side, not when i come here in low cut everything… his wife actually mentioned it to him but by then it had been a month of Purple hair and he ended APOLOGIZING to me for not “noticing sooner” which LOL

        Oh I did Kitten! I am soooooooo Happy about it

        idk if you have Instagram but qqbeans, look it up

      • mimif says:

        Dude. QQ’s hair is everything. Just wanna go on the record and state that I saw it a few days ago, screencapped it and sent it to my friend with the words, and I quote: I WANT THIS ON MY HEAD. Wait, does that make me a creeper?

      • Ag says:

        kitten – when i mentioned my SIL, i guess i didn’t explain correctly. it’s just one of the gazillion things she does to pretend she’s not aging. her daughters, who are in their late teens and early 20s, color their hair, and then she follows. she wears clothes similar to theirs. she basically attempts to shave off several decades. which, come on, be ok with being a mature woman.

        qq – holy crap, that guy sounds like… something.

      • Erinn says:

        Ahhh I want funky purple or red hair. I’m in an industry where I could do kind of whatever the hell I want. BUT I’m a chicken. And I hate dealing with the upkeep. So now and then I go get ‘peekaboo’ highlights of fun colors.

        I might go get some hair chalk as well. Becuase I always change my mind on things.

      • Ag says:

        QQ – your hair color and cut are AMAZING. i’m super jealous. (my sister has the same cut with the shaved sides, longer on top, and she rocks it as well.)

      • QQ says:

        Thanks AG all homemade cause im a Bum and hate people touching my hair ^_^

        Erinn why dont you do Splat Washables that way you arent committed to it ?

      • Ag says:

        home-made? amazing. it’s seriously art. :)

        do Splat Washables work? like truly color and truly wash out?

      • Kitten says:

        Holy sh*t, QQ…I can’t believe you did that yourself. It looks awesome! So jealous…

        Also, is that your BF’s kitty and your dog in that pic?

        You two look like fun people to get tanked with.

        ^^That’s a compliment as I consider my BF and I stellar people to get wasted with. The best, really….

      • QQ says:

        AG TOTALLY! check Naturallytash in IG the girl pretty much picks a splat washable and goes buck for a few weeks!, she also does Chalks and hair mascaras and eyeshadows…ON HER HAIR YES!! she is super helpy too if you ask questions!

        Kitten Yes He has Two cats Boy and Girl and i have two baby boy turdy dogs (they are all jerks separately …and come to think about it TOGETHER BUT they get on pretty decently considering that up to last year it was me and My Minipin and he basically lashes out aggressively to other animals for giggles) WE ARE A LOT OF DRUNK FUN! if we do beer!… Lies… Any drink is for gigglement but why Im the Lightest of weights OMG a glass of riesling or Moscato Game OVER!!! … weed is just a full body melter like literally wash face wrap hair or whatever -puff and close your eyes for the day cause you won’t move again

      • get it together says:

        lena annoys me but her hair color doesn’t bother me. why is it that adults in our society often view fun hair colors as “rebellion” or assume that the wearer doesn’t want to accept the responsibilities of adulthood? i’m almost 33, a doctor-in-training, and have had funky hair colors for years. i also have a master’s degree, own a home, and am married. currently, my entire head of hair is fuschia.

  3. mystified says:

    People who claim that they don’t care what you think of them usually want you to think of them as someone who doesn’t care what others think of them.

    People who actually don’t care what others think of them are not usually so in-your-face, and are unafraid of not being noticed.

    • Francesca says:

      Excellent point! All of her attempts at showing herself a certain way just come off as so forced and inauthentic. She needs to get some real world experience and maturity… And she may well end up being the unconventional inspirational person she wants to ve.

    • Teresa_Maria says:

      Agree 100%

  4. LadyMTL says:

    Lena Dunham was on a talk show here in Canadaland (The Social) and – believe it or not – the hair didn’t look hideous on camera. It’s not something I’d give a thumbs-up to, but it was a much nicer color than what’s seen in the Instagram pic and, IMHO, it’s much nicer than that awful bleach blonde. Would I dye my hair that color? Hell no. But it does seem to be a bit of a trend lately.

    As for her show and her character…I stopped watching Girls because the show is dull. I don’t care how likeable any of them are, they’re just boring.

  5. Belle Epoch says:

    Lookit! Lookit! I have green hair! It’s really hideous. If you say anything mean about it, then you are superficial and anti -feminist. I can do whatever I want! Although I am running out of ways to make a spectacle of myself. I’ve already done sex, nudity, awful clothes, awful hair, Vogue, and a memoir all about myself. Gosh, it’s getting harder to get attention. What will I do next to keep the spotlight on ME?

  6. Kcarp says:

    I’m so sick of her.

    I’m pretty sure her hair dresser is a Republican.

  7. mkyarwood says:

    When I have a need to constantly change my hair it’s because of overwhelming depression. Re: Britney.

  8. Lucy2 says:

    I don’t care about likability. I want interesting characters and compelling story lines. I’ve only seen the first season of her show, but from what I remember it offered neither.

  9. Kiddo says:

    I always thought the hook, if you will, that drew people to the character/protagonist of Tony Soprano, was that he was truly a villain, but also an ordinary slob who was moved by the presence of ducks in his pool, was torn over mistreatment in youth by his mother, cared deeply about providing for his children, while also being a diabolical killer. It was the dichotomy and push and pull of the two sides on the audience. Walter White, similarly, had origins in being a simple man, with less nefarious connections, put in extraordinary circumstances, for which he may have responded in the worst way possible, but his motive for the actions could be viewed in a variety of ways.

    Not having seen her show, it’s hard to know if this is in play here. Or if the character is only always behaving spoilt (and unlikeable). Maybe not on as grand of a scale as a mob boss, but one who contributes their own sense of entitlement from a different, maybe more benign, perspective, without the inherent humanity peeking through and gargantuan hurdles to overcome on another side? Those two shows were epic dramas. I’m not sure if she is making the right comparison, apples to apples.

    • Courtney says:

      The other characters she mentioned(Tony Soprano, Walter White) were well written and well acted parts, and gave the viewer *something* to root for, or at least got the viewer invested in the outcome. I don’t think any of those concepts apply to Girls.

      • Ag says:

        that was the point i wanted to make – tony soprano and walter white were expertly written, multi-dimensional, superbly-acted parts. they were villains clearly capable of the worst in humanity, but they were also, in some ways, good/ordinary people who loved things and cared deeply about things. as you said kiddo, sort of normal men “put in extraordinary circumstances” whose path we got to observe, follow, and care about. not because “killing people is AWESOME, villains are BADA$$,” but because those characters were so complex and grey in so many ways.

        i have never seen “girls,” so i can’t comment as to lena’s writing or acting, or the development of the characters. perhaps the larger issue is that, in general, female characters are not written in ways complex enough to mirror human complexity, which makes it more difficult to care about them. if lena sees that as an issue, she should change that – she has her own show, after all. so, it might not be the audience, lady – it might be your writing and acting.

    • Eleonor says:

      Villains are usually the most interesting and fun characters to see on screen, but they have to be really beautifully written.
      To me one of the most amazing villain of all time is Lady Macbeth, a woman.
      If her villains are not interesting is not because they are female characters, but because they are not well written.

    • lucy2 says:

      The “extraordinary circumstances” point is key here – all of the shows she mentions as examples were all about the dangerous situations the characters were in. Walter White was never likable, IMO, and as a guy before he “broke bad” was pretty boring. It was the circumstances, and how they affected him, that drew people in. There were high stakes, in all 3 of the shows she mentions as examples. There’s no stakes in Girls – a 20 something person with a fairly privileged life trying to figure herself out isn’t exactly life or death. So if you do a show like that – which is fine, I like plenty of shows that are simple in premise – then you do have to have characters that people want to spend time with.

    • mimif says:

      I just came here to write that I can’t even believe she’s comparing her bitchy bland boring whiny ass privileged stupid lame AF characters to Tony Soprano & Walter White. Jesus, this troll is so far up her own rectum, her hair turned green.
      *insert embolism here*

      • Kitten says:

        Walter White was incredibly unlikable IMO. I watched the whole series just to see that asshole go down.

        Tony Soprano was a layered and complex character, one of the best and most well-written characters in TV history.

        Mimif-you’re feisty today. Shall we partake in the lovely kush?

      • mimif says:

        Ha I totally am feisty and I’m not sure it’s possible to have any more kush in my system right now.

        *throws BBK at Kitten*

  10. Alexa says:

    Hmmm . . . why does there have to be an age limit on dying your hair a crayon box color? I don’t get whatever channel “Girls” is on – so I never saw her show nor have I read her book. However, from what I’ve learned about her here – I actually like her. I find her to be liberating and inspiring.

  11. iskra says:

    I don´t care how she looks like, she is just plain dull and annoying and her personality, which she is so eagerly selling, is everything but individualistic.

  12. Rhiley says:

    Lena Dunham is an incredibly boring, sappy, woman child, and Jemmima Kirk or whatever her name is, is a terrible actress. I can’t stand her character. She irks me to know end.

  13. JKL says:

    I avtually like her show. It’s funny. Why do people give such a crap about what she says? Move on.

    • Kiddo says:

      I think she wants people to listen to what she is saying. That’s why she wrote a book. That’s why she’s giving interviews.

      • mimif says:

        Um, hello. She’s the voice of her generation. Hopefully, she contracts laryngitis* soon.

        *Am I allowed to do that? Or is that flag worthy?

      • Kiddo says:

        Better ask ‘sol’…the arbiter of appropriateness, who posts under a multitude of sock-puppets; knows when you are a moron, and will tell you so. That’s how I make all my decisions of morality.

        **too bad someone always deletes his/her comments.

      • mimif says:

        Oh the tender irony. I responded (it was a great response too) but it got DB’d. We need to start talking in code to get our secret messages to each other. Oh, wait…

  14. Eleonor says:

    She doesn’t care about what you think of her as long as you are paying attention to her.
    She is an attentionseeker with a degree.

  15. lem says:

    The viewers love of Tony Saprano, Dexter or Walter White have nothing to do with them being male and therefore it being okay that they’re morally corrupt. There are plenty of “morally corrupt” female characters (Carol from The Walking Dead, Claire from House of Cards, and basically all of the females characters from Game of Thrones) that the viewer love for the same reasons they love the aforementioned male characters–it’s depth and dimension to the character despite their corrupt morality. The characters that Lena has created do not have depth/dimension/likeability and therefore we have no reason to root for them, regardless of their moral character.

  16. J. says:

    I’m in my 30s and I’ll dye my hair whatever color I choose, thanks.

    • Kiddo says:

      Ooh good, I’ve been wanting someone to try out Outer Space.

    • Happyhat says:

      Samsies – gonna have to disagree with the idea that there’s an age cap on having fun with the hair that grows out of your head. And…dying hair crazy colours in ur teen years? No way my school would have allowed that.

      I’m 34, I’m planning on having some fun with my platinum blonde (gotta say, it’s as flattering on me as it is on Lena. But, f*** it, sometimes you need to get it out your system. It’s an Annie Lennox style pixie cut, but I don’t look half as good as Annie…) hair when I need to go back to brown, i.e. when my hair has gone uber-crispy. Gonna go through some fun colours – I’ve got purple in mind. Then, I think some pastel colours? Last time I went crazy-coloured (about 8 years ago) I never knew about the pastel colours. I’m thinking pastel pink.

      Anyway – those are my hair thoughts. I also generally disagree that there’s one specific idea of what being an ‘adult’ is. It’s my life, and I’ll define what I think being an ‘adult’ means, and one of the criteria is ceasing to let other people define who I am.

      So nerr.

  17. jwoolman says:

    It’s just hair color. Companies make hair coloring kits for a reason, and they aren’t peddling them just to 12 year olds. Plenty of full grown adults of all ages enjoy messing with their hair color. I never did, but don’t mind. Or have I been watching too much Japanese anime?!? Anyway, no biggie.

  18. Franny Days says:

    I actually like the green on her better than the blonde. I do watch Girls and I find it amusing. Her character is so self-absorbed and completely unlikeable and it is obvious that it is on purpose. I like the other characters much more than Hanna.

  19. FingerBinger says:

    Tony Soprano,Dexter and Walter White were antiheroes. These characters had multiple layers to them. I don’t watch the show ,but from what I’ve read her Girls character is a whiny slacker. Her character doesn’t seem very complex.

  20. GingerCrunch says:

    That puppy of hers has the sweetest face EVER! Omg.

  21. aenflex says:

    The look that is perpetually on her face is certainly enough to disgust me into never, ever wanting to dig any deeper into this woman. I can’t even make it past her face to critique the hair choices she’s made.

  22. But better that than SJP’s defenses of everything Carrie Bradshaw ever did, no matter how awful. Carrie wasn’t always likable, and I wish SJP could be okay with that.

  23. kri says:

    She’s finally right. I don’t like her. Or her characters or her writing. I don’t care about her hair color. If she was talented and interesting that would be great. She is nowhere near being able to create interesting characters a la WW or Tony Soprano. She is……unsuffabearble.

  24. Pennyclover22 says:

    I hope everyone has a good weekend 😃

  25. kiyoshigirl says:

    Lena Dunham wishes they got asked that question. If she in any way thinks her portrayal of whatever her name is is in any way comparable to James Gandolfini, she’s got a lot to learn. It’s been a few years since she hit the scene and she hasn’t shown one bit of growth. She’s still a teenage girl dying her hair puke green for attention.

  26. BlackBetty says:

    I’ve seen even middle aged women dye their hair crayon colours, these days. It seems popular. Katy Perry dyed her hair green and she’s older. I think people only like Girls, if you’re in your 20s like the characters. Older people don’t like the show.

  27. Diz says:

    She’s just gross

  28. Chris says:

    Tiny Furniture is just as bad. I watched about fifteen minutes of it before the stench of middle class, white privilege compelled me to turn it off.