Lena Dunham wrote an overwrought essay about her new single life for Vogue

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Anna Wintour might be one of the most exhausting people in the world. Wintour has taken it upon herself to rehabilitate not only Georgina Chapman, but to completely whitewash (operative word: WHITE) Lena Dunham’s image. In Chapman’s case, I sort of understand it because at least Chapman is a designer and Wintour is basically protecting herself when she protects Chapman. But Lena? Lena Dunham is supremely replaceable. Lena Dunham should have been canceled by Anna Wintour years ago. But no, Lena keeps on getting invitations to the Met Gala. Lena keeps on getting space in Vogue to write about all of her feelings.

In the March issue of Vogue, Lena detailed her lengthy ordeal with endometriosis and her hysterectomy. I understood why Vogue would have given Lena the space for that, because those are medical conversations that more women need to have with their doctors. That being said, that Vogue essay was an exercise in overwrought writing and honestly, even if Lena’s situation is genuinely sympathetic, no one will ever feel as sorry for Lena as she feels for herself. So with that in mind, Vogue gave Lena more space in the June issue to… detail her breakup from Jack Antonoff and how she’s learning to be single again. Again, this sh-t is overwrought. You can read the full piece here.

“I’m going to die alone.” It’s a refrain often uttered by women, with a kind of tragicomic self-awareness, after a bad date or the breakup of a brief romance or the adoption of a calico cat. I can hardly count the rom-coms that hinge on this premise (a woman has resigned herself to a life of takeout, cheap Chardonnay, and quirky pajamas). But even said jokingly, the words are possessed of a horrible tyranny, as though aloneness is an island on which, as punishment for failing to successfully adapt yourself to romantic love, you are marooned. Alone is a place that nobody would want to go on vacation, much less live permanently.

It was December when we broke up, that kind of confusing weather where glaring sunlight makes the cold air feel even colder. We sat in our shared kitchen of nearly four years and quietly faced each other, acknowledging what nobody wanted to say. That obsessive connection had turned to blind devotion, and the blinders were coming off to reveal that we had evolved separately (the least shocking reason of all and perhaps the most common). That anger wasn’t sexy or sustainable. That our hearts were still broken from trying so hard to fix it but no longer uncertain about whether or not we could. The finality nearly killed me, and I remember muttering, “But what if we still went on dates?” He laughed sadly. “Whatever you want.”

[From Vogue]

That’s as far as I got, even though I wanted to stop reading after the first paragraph. It’s just pages and pages of that sh-t. So instead of talking about how there could be one kernel of truth to Lena’s essay – that breakups suck – let’s talk about WHY this essay exists in Vogue? Why does Lena Dunham still get so many chances to write for major publications and speak as if she’s still “the voice of a generation”? If I was part of Lena’s generation, I would be outraged that she was speaking on my behalf. And again, why are continuously force-fed Lena’s Special Snowflake routine? I just can’t. I’m beyond over this.

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78 Responses to “Lena Dunham wrote an overwrought essay about her new single life for Vogue”

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  1. Lucy2 says:

    She needs to STOP.
    Vogue/Wintour is terribly out of touch if they think giving her a platform is a good idea.

  2. Mariposa says:

    Lena never cries, she sobs. She is never sex-drunk like the rest of us plebs, she is ‘obsessively connected’. She’s never just in love, she is ‘blindly devoted’. I honestly think Lena could write an essay about how she doesn’t poop, but instead expels existential angst in physical form.

  3. Margo S. says:

    She is basically a millennial with the opinions and behaviors of an old fashioned insular white woman. Her opinions more so match those of a baby boomer. That’s why she’s given this platform. These companies are run by boomers.

    • Mia4s says:

      Thank you!! I couldn’t put my finger on it but there it is. The “voice of a generation” is actually the voice of the old generation. The rest of us moved on.

      Having done a fair bit of work with the elderly I want to scream at women who use the “I’m going to die alone” cliche when they have a break up. Guess what honey? You’re probably right. Oh and the woman who has been happily married for 15 years? Her too. Statistically speaking there is a very good chance a woman will outlive her romantic partner by several years at least. That’s life. And if you have children they will be off living their own lives for the most part. So cultivate friendships, take care of your finances and embrace independence, regardless of relationship status.

      Hey Vogue, can I write a feature? Unlike Lena I won’t use my public platform to accuse a young Black woman of lying about rape.

      • LawBabe says:

        this^. Is Lena Dunham the voice of female empowerment now? Is that what Vogue is trying to convince us of? If that’s the case, then Vogue is not doing much to move us away from the 1950′s attitude and anxieties that all of our sadness and happiness comes from our relationships or lack thereof with men. What a bunch of crap. She might as well be in an add for a vacuum cleaner wearing a flouncy dress and pearls bemoaning the time constraints of house cleaning and getting dinner on the table in time for her man to come home. Lena, you’re bestowed with more opportunity than many many other women. Quit whining and get to hustling on making an amazing life for yourself. If you’ve got money and know people, you’re way ahead of most people.

      • Carrie1 says:

        Yep. I’m over 50, never married, grateful to die alone as it will be so much more peaceful than upset people hovering or bickering stupid relatives. Everyone dies alone anyway. Tragedies worldwide are far worse…refugees for instance wandering seeking safety, no home, watching loved ones killed along the way.

        Lena must have very well connected parents… that’s the only way I can make sense of her even existing on tv or in print anywhere. She’s literally untalented imho.

    • Wren says:

      She is, isn’t she? It’s odd, but she’s just recycling old ways of thinking with new words in a hipster package. Couple that with a teenager’s grandiose self importance (nobody has EVER felt like this before, I have SO MANY FEELINGS), and it’s just….. flat. I could care, but I don’t. I “should” sympathize, but I don’t because everything is turned so inward, the other people in her narratives are just characters and props for her to describe herself and her feelings around.

      And guess what? Everyone dies alone. Everyone. Why the hell do you think death is so scary? It’s the one step in this life that nobody can take with you. There is no moral support, no understanding, because even if you are surrounded by people at the moment of your death, you will be the first one there experiencing it. It’s the ultimate isolation.

    • RedOnTheHead says:

      Margo, I am a white baby boomer woman. I am old(er) than most of the readers here I suspect. I am neither insular nor old fashioned.

      I am married to my second husband and I was single and living alone for 15 years between marriages. And it was glorious. I had a long career that was 99% men for many, many years. And I thrived in it.

      There are many of us older baby boomers that are perhaps more complex and forward thinking than you know. Just as many “millennials” are offended by being stereotyped as snowflakes and so forth, it is offensive to me to see comments such as yours stereotyping older women. Why do we need to tear each other down and make such hateful comments based on our age and race? Why? It just continues to perpetuate the stereotypes.

      • A says:

        @redonthehead no offence but you just proved the original point of that person’s comment by taking it about as seriously as Lena Dunham would have. Pointing out certain norms that happen because of age isn’t hateful or tearing anyone down. It’s simply an observation. If it doesn’t apply to you, move on.

      • Kitten says:

        Every single time the Boomer generation gets rightfully criticized, Boomers rush in to defend.
        You guys need to stop taking criticisms of your generation as a personal insult. The Boomers did some wonderful things and some really terrible things that are still greatly impacting our society. Many of the systemic issues caused by selfish, short-sighted Boomers won’t be remedied partly because we have Boomers like Trump in charge and partly because as a whole, you guys refuse to acknowledge or admit to your generation’s missteps.

      • Margo S. says:

        I’m so sorry redonthehead!! That’s so true. I shouldn’t be stereotyping an entire generation of boomers. That’s unfair. I was generalizing based on a trait shared with many boomers I’ve met in my life.

        I should clarify that she’s not acting like all boomers. She’s just acting in a way that society may consider “old fashioned”.

      • Carrie1 says:

        Amen @RedontheHead

        @A – listen up. Stop telling older women they can’t speak. Stop with the ageism. It’s not ok. 60s and 70s kids are strong… you’ve got no clue.

    • Hazel says:

      Nope, just no. Do not lump boomers like this. She is not like us. No.

    • Mrs. Wellen Melon says:

      Okay, you get to blame this narcissistic poseur’s ability to get paid to embarrass herself publicly and for money on my generation if I get to blame Kardashian infiltration of Vogue and various fashion and cosmetic houses on yours.

      Do we have a deal?

    • Darla says:

      Gen X here. Just watching yet another boomer-millennial spat. But thanks for not dragging us into it. We don’t care. That’s our motto, you can look it up. Or as Buffy The Vampire Slayer explained us “Apathy grows, nobody cares”

  4. Lenn says:

    She seems stuck in puberty.

  5. ds says:

    I really can’t stand Dunham. Watching Girls made me feel uncomfortable being a woman but I did read this essay ’cause I wanted to see what her writing is like. It’s OK. And having gone through that like any person in their 30′s it was a OK read. I guess she still stands as a “voice of a generation” or something so that’s the Vogue angle. It wasn’t bad. She still sucks in my book though.

  6. HK9 says:

    I suspect the island of aloneness is populated by people trying to get away from her essay, and if so, I think I’m headed in that direction with some tequila.

  7. LuvHotGuyFri says:

    I would be fine with never seeing a post about her again…

  8. QueenB says:

    “Why does Lena Dunham still get so many chances to write for major publications and speak as if she’s still “the voice of a generation”? ”

    Like I said: She wont disappear because of the White Women in Media Club. Its really not different from the old boys networks.

  9. Jenns says:

    Her essay about her health didn’t get much notice at all.
    No one cared that she was at the Met Gala.
    So now she’s pulling this.

    People of color should brace themselves, because when this essay fails to generate any interest, she’ll probably pull some racist bs for attention.

  10. Shannon says:

    She is so boring to me. I mean, even this breakup story is boring. And she’s so full of self-importance, which is amazing considering I can’t really find anything “special” about her.

  11. Green Is Good says:

    Lena is the result of parents who tell their offspring how brilliant and special every thing they do is.

  12. Nicole says:

    It’s amazing to me how in touch TV is but Vogue is so out of it. I can read TV with no issues but Vogue makes me want to gouge my eyes out

  13. MI6 says:

    It’s such a shame. She is so talented, but was much less grating until fame changed her and she crawled up her own ass and now stinks of pretention and self-importance.

  14. Cher says:

    Wintour and Dunham should go away, stay away and not to heard from again.

  15. Neelyo says:

    I cannot wait for her essay on the anguish she experienced being the first eliminated on DANCING WITH THE STARS.

  16. Tan says:

    I am her generation , actually almost her age and the only thing I have is nepotism . That’s why she gets chances after chances to explain away her awfully sad life. Has anyone asked her about writing what she was feeling when she defended a white rapist and called the black victim a liar?

    No because the backlash will be too much for marshmallow Lena to handle.

    Honestly, I feel, there have never been as many spoilt brats being held as icons as from my generation. If you come from right family, just saying ohh I want world peace is enough to get you a noble prize

  17. Betsy says:

    She’s not a very good writer, is she? I don’t get Anna Wintour’s deal on a lot of things. I appreciate that a woman who is not in her 20s is still “allowed” to work, but I don’t particularly like her vision.

    Separately, has anyone seen an ID on that lipstick she’s wearing? I covet it. (There! One thing I like about her!)

    • Chaine says:

      ITA! The writing is insufferable even if I hadn’t known it was Lena Dunham’s. “It was December when we broke up, that kind of confusing weather where glaring sunlight makes the cold air feel even colder.” WHICH HAS WHAT TO DO WITH THE TWO OF YOU SITTING IN YOUR KITCHEN???

      • Ada says:

        I dunno, I don’t think she is the Greatest Writer of All Time, but that description sets the scene well for me. It shows her emotional state without saying I AM SAD IN MY KITCHEN.

        I feel ambivalent about hating on anyone so much that anything they do is uncritically seen as the worst (aka Bitch Eating Crackers syndrome). It reminds me a lot of bullying dynamics. Not saying that you are one, or that you’re not entitled to an opinion on her writing, just a general feeling I have from reading through all the comments here.

        Lena is a problematic for a number of reasons, but writing about her health and feelings is not one of them, IMO.

    • ErgoSatz says:

      Judd Aptow and Anna Wintour are the “do gooder” friends of your parents who want you to “make friends” with the try hard nerdy girl in middle school. I feel like corporate media shoves these people like Lena in our faces, “what’s wrong with you, be nice, she gets good grades and her shoes are from France”.

  18. Theodora says:

    Thanks for the laughter, that essay is so pathetic and ridiculous that I can’t stop laughing. I mean, I can’t relate at all even if I had my share of break-ups and heartbreak. There is no emotion or feeling or pathos in it. It’s quite an accomplishment to be so emotionless and bland writing about a break-up.

  19. Case says:

    After reading that, I can see why her and Swifty are friends.

  20. Tea Bags, baby! says:

    I read the whole essay. It’s about how being in a 6 year relationship basically made her unable to do things by herself when she always thought of someone who was, then she realizes she can’t even be by herself for 15 minutes. She is being very kind to her ex, which is an impressive way to go because she is not typically that mature- but three things that stuck out to me:

    -he got to keep their loft! She went to her parents. But that’s okay, it was a mutual decision because the elevator always gave her anxiety anyway! (Side eye, we get it Lena, you’re a jumbled mess of a person. I can see him wanting to keep it because he recorded his Bleachers albums there as well as tracks with other artists so it’s more his workspace too and being that I’m pretty sure they dissolved partially because of Lorde-whether he’s with a model now or not-she probably does not want to be there either.)

    -She talks about a castle by the sea in Portugal, the sea by the Maldives. Their spacious loft. Drinks at the Carlyle. She veers between the relate-able (millions of texts) to the hip (back and forth to the bodega!) to completely upper class celeb problems (oh how I treasure our memories from our luxury vacations!)

    -The last sentence they highlight above about how she still wanted to go on dates and he’s like whatever you want and then there’s a story about how her college boyfriend moved off campus and said he wanted three or four days alone during the week without her and she bikes over to his place sobbing and he sends her home and she chalks it up to “good boundaries” instead of him just not wanting to be around her-I am second-hand embarrassed. How did Jack Antonoff stand this for 4 years?

  21. Veronica S. says:

    You know, after finding out that Nicole Arbour appropriated “This is America” for a “feminist” piece, I just. can’t. with white women anymore. So when I see shit like this anymore, my brain just goes “SHUT UP WHITE WOMEN” and shuts down before it can hurt itself processing any of it.

  22. Valerie says:

    Oh, lord. No one cares, Lena.

  23. Lala says:

    I could empathize with her regarding the essay…I could see LOTS of familiar emotional and psychological aspects regarding what she wrote in her essay…and then I think of Lena the person as a whole…and I push the “delete” button…

    Which has ALWAYS been my issue with Lena…because in THEORY…I can get down with her regarding a lot of her stances…but in REALITY…I could…NEVA!!!!

  24. A says:

    By the way that essay reads you’d think she’s the first and only woman to have ever broken up with her boyfriend in the history of the world.

    Oh you feel alone and empty and unmoored? Wow. Those things have certainly never been felt by anyone who has ended a significant relationship before!!!!! /sarcasm

  25. slowsnow says:

    It is a strange existence where you spill out your break-up creative writing in Vogue.

    This is not even priviledge, it’s total alienation.

  26. Giddy says:

    ”It was December when we broke up’ is the new loser in the “It was a dark and stormy night” contest. If I liked her at all I would feel second-hand embarrassment. As it is I am just appalled.

  27. Eve V says:

    Im going through a break up right now after 14 years and it has been devastating, so I thought this article might actually speak to me. I barely got through a quarter of the article before I had to click out of it. Pretentious as hell, thy name is Lena. Not enough eye rolls in the world for this woman.

  28. Electric Tuba says:

    She is the voice of nothing and at the same time she is the face of everything that’s wrong right now. Little Critter be gone!

    • AMA1977 says:

      Somebody on here referred to her as Little Critter many moons ago and. I. DIED. I shared it with my husband and now that is how she is exclusively referred to in our house. My five year-old has a couple of Little Critter storybooks, and anytime she asks me to read her one, I have an internal fit of the giggles thinking of Little Critter Lena Dunham getting a new puppy or meeting her baby sister or learning to share or whatever. It cracks me up. :)

  29. Milavanilla says:

    Came here to say how over Lena I am not only bc she accused a black woman of lying about rape but also for pretending people of color don’t exist/matter on Girls. Who here remembers how she added a freaking black republican male character to her second season simply out of passive aggressive spite? She’s a narcissist and I have no sympathy for her ultra privileged bs.
    Wintour is making herself look more and more like an irrelevant idiot.

  30. Cantgooglme says:

    I read the whole thing too. I love when celebrities open up like this, so embarrassing but so much goss. Very Jenny Slate.

  31. Shelley says:

    I liked the paragraphs you shared. Not a fan of Lena, but the writing is fine.

  32. raincoaster says:

    Anna Wintour has amazing instincts, but they have completely failed her with her little pet Lena. The woman is intolerable. She’s so lonely because, even with all her money and fame, nobody can stand her.

  33. Deering24 says:

    Gahhh. “Somebody kill me, please…” 😛

  34. Beer&Crumpets says:

    I still don’t understand why I even know who Lena Dunham is. Like… ok, she had a show and people liked it. I like Supernatural and UnReal and I don’t know anything about the people who write it.

    Basically, she’s famous for being…. obnoxious? Being a little chunky? I don’t get her. I’d say something about how I don’t like her writing, but the Twilight and 50 Shades books are wildly popular so quality of writing obviously doesn’t mean shit. I dunno- I just don’t get the appeal.