I gotta be honest….
I didn’t know much about Actress/Author/Director, Lena Dunham, so I googled her before writing this piece. Reading about her work, and getting a glimpse of her social media, I’ve come to some understanding of why this advocate for positive self-image and feminism uses her insecurities as part of her of humor….particularly in THIS situation with New York Giants Wide Receiver Odell Beckham Jr. Unfortunately, her self-deprecating humor was missed because of her need to dump her insecurity issues on a man who doesn’t know who she is.
Her recent comments about Odell Beckham Jr. left a bad taste in the mouths of a lot of people, who didn’t find them funny. In fact , critics BLASTED Dunham for her preconceived notions and expectations about a man she’s admitted to never have met.
Before I go any further, read below, the controversial comments Dunham made during her interview with Amy Schumer on Lenny Letter.
I was sitting next to Odell Beckham Jr., and it was so amazing because it was like he looked at me and he determined I was not the shape of a woman by his standards. He was like, “That’s a marshmallow. That’s a child. That’s a dog.” It wasn’t mean — he just seemed confused.
The vibe was very much like, “Do I want to fuck it? Is it wearing a … yep, it’s wearing a tuxedo. I’m going to go back to my cell phone.” It was like we were forced to be together, and he literally was scrolling Instagram rather than have to look at a woman in a bow tie. I was like, “This should be called the Metropolitan Museum of Getting Rejected by Athletes.”
Now, let’s be honest. I think EVERY woman has gone through a period where insecurities plagued her mind. As a result, we tend to do THE MOST with men while we deal with it, instead of working to release it. We internalize self-hate because we don’t look like the next chick.
To dump our insecurities on a guy we’re dealing with is one thing. To dump them on a man who barely knows us is a whole other issue that we’d need to fix.
After realizing that she’s become a new “poster child” of what NOT to do when you don’t feel pretty in a room full of models, she posted a public apology to Odell VIA Instagram.
I owe Odell Beckham Jr an apology. Despite my moments of bravado, I struggle at industry events (and in life) with the sense that I don’t rep a certain standard of beauty and so when I show up to the Met Ball surrounded by models and swan-like actresses it’s hard not to feel like a sack of flaming garbage. This felt especially intense with a handsome athlete as my dinner companion and a bunch of women I was sure he’d rather be seated with. But I went ahead and projected these insecurities and made totally narcissistic assumptions about what he was thinking, then presented those assumptions as facts. I feel terrible about it. Because after listening to lots of valid criticism, I see how unfair it is to ascribe misogynistic thoughts to someone I don’t know AT ALL. Like, we have never met, I have no idea the kind of day he’s having or what his truth is. But most importantly, I would never intentionally contribute to a long and often violent history of the over-sexualization of black male bodies- as well as false accusations by white women towards black men. I’m so sorry, particularly to OBJ, who has every right to be on his cell phone. The fact is I don’t know about his state of mind (I don’t know a lot of things) and I shouldn’t have acted like I did. Much love and thanks, Lena
Whether the apology was needed or not, I’m glad she’s acknowledged the fact that Odell is not responsible for how she feels about herself. Her public display of borderline self-hate also serves as a reminder that we, as women, should never feel the need for validation from a man to feel “worthy”.
In my opinion, the attention Dunham wanted but didn’t receive from Beckham, solidified her need to blame him for the apparent awkwardness she felt.
I urge women to be mindful of how uniquely beautiful we are. We must be mindful that if someone doesn’t see your beauty, then it isn’t meant for him to see. We should never make men, or ANYONE, responsible for our insecurities. We have to find the power within to love the skin we’re in.
No one can help you do that.