I can’t stand Lena Dunham and my disdain is well documented thanks to social media. When I caught wind of her recent shenanigans I was immediately annoyed. Frankly, I’m still annoyed. That said, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t identify with part of the apology she posted on her Instagram page.
“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.”
I know that feeling. I live with it daily.
I felt it as I walked through Lenox Square Mall on Saturday.
My eyebrows were too bushy.
I should have worn lipstick.
My curl pattern didn’t pop enough.
And like Dunham, I began to project.
Every time I heard audible laughter I assumed I was the target. To make matters worse, I was with my friend that typically gets more attention. As much as I despise street harassment, I would have endured in exchange for a slice of validation.
I left my house feeling cute and by the time I was back on the train, I felt like a dumpster fire. This is a battle I fight daily but I never talk about it. Even now, I want to delete everything before this sentence. I’ve never said anything because I’m ashamed. No one wants to admit they struggle with their self-esteem. I don’t want my mama to think she didn’t do enough because she did and still does. I don’t want to sound crazy even though I am aware that my brain isn’t wired correctly.
Additionally, the world is hell-bent on affirming my negative thoughts. Kanye West continues to show us how color struck he is by hold casting calls for mixed race models. Your ashy cousins are calling Blue Ivy ugly for having Africa features. I’ve seem memes claiming women that are over 5’8 or have a shoe size larger than 9 are mannish. Teyana Taylor looked godly in FADE but let’s be real, niggas ain’t giving slim jims no play.
I was hugged enough as a child and my mom STILL tells me I’m beautiful but all of it gets to me.
How am I supposed to feel with my nappy head, wide nose, big feet, lanky limbs and brown skin?
Dunham’s white obliviousness caused her to miss an opportunity to start a very needed discussion. Let’s pick up the ball she dropped.