azealia banks, lena dunham, and what the hell is wrong with this week

All right, world. I’m having some beef with celebrity biz, and I have to share it because otherwise my girlfriend will break up with me because I won’t shut up about it and eventually she’s going to be like “ALISON, WE ARE 87 AND 92 YEARS OLD, RESPECTIVELY. PLEASE SHUT IT ABOUT AZEALIA BANKS AND LENA DUNHAM!”

Here we go.

Rapper Azealia Banks is  some sort of a big deal. I have not heard of her because something horrible happened to be when I moved to Colorado: I fell out of the cool music scene and now only listen to Car Talk on NPR. Jealous? Probably. So. She’s this rapper and she identifies as bisexual, which the LGBTQ community loves, because duh! Mainstream, successful artists might be a little bit queer and a whole lot normal? We’ll take it. I was whatever about her until THIS:

Azealia-Banks-Faggot-Perez-Hilton-Lovebscott-TwitterGIRL WHAT. In what world is it okay to call someone a faggot? Typing the word puts a sour taste in my mouth. Saying the word puts a lump in my throat. I have never called someone a faggot. I have been called one. I found an old LiveJournal post where someone called me a faggot. I was twelve years old. That was the first time and not the last, and it still makes me a little teary-eyed. Anyone using that word should feel a little vile. But not Azealia Banks. No, no, no. She then went on the defense:

azealiauseofthefwordI’ll ask again, GIRL WHAT. I’m sorry, I get that Perez Hilton is a jerkstore, but what!? Azealia, let me break it down for you: you do not get a free pass to use the term ‘faggot’ in a derogatory way because you are a member of the LGBTQ community.

I had this conversation a couple of weeks ago with my girlfriend and two of her friends from home. The terms faggot, cunt, and nigger are three words that are not acceptable. The LGBTQ community, females, and black people warrant so much more respect than that. Come on. It’s 2013.

I’ve been freaking out on favorite blogs, lurking in the comment sections, where people defend Banks by saying “This wouldn’t happen if she weren’t a POC (person of color.)” Excuse you? If I had heard that Lindsay Lohan called Perez a faggot, I sure as shit would be having this exact reaction. And I love me some LiLo. “She’s using the word as a member of the LGBTQ community, therefore reclaiming it and giving it less meaning.” No, she isn’t. She is using it in the derogatory sense. She also tweeted “A faggot is not a homosexual male. A faggot is any male who acts like a female. There’s a BIG difference.” Really? She’s offending the LGBTQ community AND women all at once? Come on. Also, my favorite: “I’m still a fan of her music. She’s a great rapper.” Hey, guess what? So is Chris Brown. Check and mate.

That’s enough on the Azealia Banks issue. My next one is Lena Dunham. Let me start y’all off: I am a freak for Oh No They Didn’t!, an online celebrity gossip rag. I’ve been a diehard member since it began. Everyone has their de-stresser; mine is celebrity gossip. I could read four pages of that site and retain absolutely zero information, then go to bed NOT thinking about how annoyed I am with a professor. I call that a win. So. I hadn’t watched the show Girls, but I had heard from the start that Lena Dunham was a big problem. She created a show that represented absolutely no POC and was just a grungier version of Sex and the City. That’s all fine and well. Then, I go home for Christmas and hang out with my friend Katie, who decides to let me in on a little secret: She can’t stop watching the show. She doesn’t even want to, but she just keeps going from episode to episode. She convinces me to try it. One, and I’m hooked.

The show is this surreal mixture of super realistic and unrealistic. I immediately notice there are no POC or members of the LGBTQ community, and for being “broke in New York,” they’re all dressed way nicer than I am. It’s unrealistic. But, but, but! Their relationships are so real: one of the characters, Marnie, is in this long-term relationship that’s driving her nuts. But, since she’s been in it so long, it’s just too easy to be in and too hard to get out of. I can relate to that ten times over! At the end of the show, two of the characters get in a fight that I had literally had with Katie mere months before. That hits home! I get why people watch it now.

But what I don’t get, and what I don’t think I will ever get, is making fun of Lena Dunham about her weight.

Winner-Lena-DunhamLena Dunham is a pretty literal look at the average American woman. She’s in her mid-twenties. She is a little more than right of ‘skinny.’ She is someone I can relate to, and I think she’s honest. She mentions struggling with being “thirteen pounds overweight” for most of her life on the show, and I truly believe that she feels that way about herself outside of the dramedy. But for goodness sake, can we lay off the girl about her weight? The following was in the New York Post, by writer Linda Stasi:

“It’s not every day in the TV world of anorexic actresses with fake boobs that a woman with giant thighs, a sloppy backside and small breasts is compelled to show it all…It’s a boon for the out-of-shape, and perhaps a giant economic loss for high-end gyms, especially in Brooklyn….Interestingly, the gorgeous Marnie is the one who is now totally unlucky in love. Sometimes it just doesn’t pay to be smart, breathtakingly beautiful, nice and kind. Not when there are blobbies who are willing to take their clothes off in public constantly — even when they aren’t in character.”

GIRL WHAT. Come on. COME ON!!!

Lena Dunham’s character Hannah takes a topless photo to send to her crush. She pulls her tights down around her ankles and bends over to have some pretty seemingly unappetizing sex with said crush. She could probably use a bra that would support her in a much more comfortable way, sure, but guess what? It’s her show. If it’s not true to the character that she wrote, then so be it. And if she wants to take off her clothes, guess what? She paid to do so. She wrote the script. She believed that doing so would enhance the character Hannah; to make her more believable and relatable to viewers. And guess what else, Madame Stasi? It worked for me.

I walk around my house naked a lot. If Linda Stasi were here, she would not be pleased. Not all of us are anorexic actresses with fake boobs, sure, but that’s because most of us have a sloppy backside and small breasts. Or a soft middle. Or two different breast sizes. Or really wide ankles. Whatever. It doesn’t. effing. matter.

Lena, keep it up. I might not agree with the idea that you don’t know any black people, and I might have thought your tweet where you called yourself a fundamentalist was a hot ass mess, but please. Show your average boobs. Show your average figure. Because I think it’s more than average.


5 thoughts on “azealia banks, lena dunham, and what the hell is wrong with this week

  1. I never made that connection that we had that exact same fight, but you’re right! Can I be the Brian Williams spawn?

    Agreed – she’s not fat and there were no POC but Lena toward Terry Gross that would be addressed in the second season (and no one lies to Terry Gross or they answer to me). But remember Elijah was gay, and they’re going to be roomies! I love Andrew Rannels.

  2. I just caught an episode of Girls on a plane last week and had the same thought- I was like, “HEY, her body looks like mine AND she writes and directs this show!?” Something so simple but so important cause its not really happening in other places.

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