There are gigantic dark circles under my eyes, and I have a
pulsing headache that comes from getting too little sleep. I stayed up way too late last night — I was
still up when my son crawled in my bed at 2 and when my daughter arrived an
hour later. I was reading Lena Dunham’s
new book "Not That Kind of Girl," and
as physically depleted as I feel today, I can say this: I regret nothing.
When your girl-crush writes a book, you have it
express-shipped the day it’s published and you read it until the sun comes up.
After each delightful chapter covering topics ranging from
bed-sharing with her sister, losing her virginity and seeing therapists most
of her life, I became more and more convinced of one thing: I cannot wait until
this woman has a baby.
I can picture it now. She’s four weeks post-partum and there’s a spread in "Life Magazine" (that still exists, right?)
of her nursing her baby in the buff. While Angelina Jolie gave us one sacred vision of motherhood, I myself
will be partial to a woman who looks more like I do and admits she’s as
neurotic as I am. Dunham is famous for
bearing it all on her critically-acclaimed series "Girls," so can you even imagine what someone as brave and creative
as Dunham will do will her postpartum body?
I’m sorry, but it’s awfully hard, nay impossible, to project my own
postpartum body onto Ms. Jolie (or Ms. Alba, or Ms. Ripa or Ms. Stefani). None of those women look like me or show the
type of humanity — fraught with anxiety, insecurity and longing — that Dunham
writes about so eloquently in her book and displays so generously on her show.
The one-sided reporting of the experience of motherhood only makes the rest of us struggling with breastfeeding, depression and anxiety feel more isolated and freakish.
And of course Dunham is so much more than her fierce,
beautiful, tattooed body. She’s a potent
mixture of humorous, honest and humble that is too often missing when famous
celebrity moms talk about motherhood. I
remember once nursing my baby at 3 a.m. and catching an interview with Celine
Dion, who could not stop gushing about how “perfect” her children were. Every word out of her mouth was unmitigated, glowing
praise for every aspect of motherhood. I
couldn’t relate. In fact, that was the
night I smashed the remote control against the wall in rage. I had a similar reaction when GOOP was on
Oprah talking about her daughter, Apple, in a similar vein. I don’t begrudge any mother her bliss, but
the one-sided reporting of the experience of motherhood only makes the rest of
us struggling with breastfeeding, depression and anxiety feel more isolated
So to the woman who memorialized for the world that she once
tried to flirt by announcing that she “only get[s] BO in one armpit,” I salute
her candor and beg her to keep it coming when she takes that magnificent leap
into motherhood. We need more voices
Confidential to Lena Dunham: I know you’re busy conquering
Hollywood and setting the world ablaze with your fearsome creative brilliance
and motherhood may not be a top priority, so no pressure, but I’m saving a spot
for you and your Mini-Me in my playgroup.