Does Girl Power = Mean Girls?

This past Saturday was Mean Girls Day, the day fans of the 2004 movie Mean Girls, which starred Lindsay Lohan, recalled its message about bullying in Girl World. In the real world, kids can be cruel, and preteen girls are among the cruelest. Often both sensitive and insecure, girls have made a science of using … Continued

Culture, Parenting

Should We Raise Our Daughters To Be Princesses?

I’m of two minds about princesses. On the one hand, I hate efforts to crush anything gender-specific, and I grew up on a steady diet of Disney and turned out okay. On the other hand, I hate the damsel-in-distress, narcissistic glitter-fest that seems to characterize the modern-day concept of princesses. My daughter has a pair … Continued

Culture, Parenting

Lena Dunham Really IS the Voice of Her Generation

Reading Not That Kind of Girl reminded me of slumber parties growing up. After eating way too much ice cream and watching a sappy chick flick, us girls would often sit around, talking late into the night, baring all our secrets to an eager huddle of female listeners. Often the conversations would turn to boys, … Continued


Lena Dunham and Fashion Fantasy

“Everybody’s beautiful, in their own way,” the Grammy-winning but ungrammatical Ray Stevens sang back in 1970. A lovely sentiment, but to say that everyone is beautiful means that no one is beautiful. I think even Stevens knew this, which is why he added the wishy-washy disclaimer, “in their own way.” The harsh truth is that … Continued


Is Lena Dunham’s Nudity “Brave”?

Let me start by saying I’m not much of a Girls watcher or fan. I just don’t find the lives of a bunch of mostly unhappy, self-centered girls living in New York that fun to watch. Of course, fun isn’t Lena Dunham’s point, apparently. She is into real life, she says. Or at least that’s … Continued

Entertainment, Television

An Aesthetic Objection to On-Screen Nudity

TV critic Tim Malloy riled up Girls producer Judd Apatow and star Lena Dunham in a recent interview when he asked them about the artistic reasoning behind her seemingly gratuitous nudity on the show. After attacking Malloy for his “offensive” question, implying that the critic was complaining about Dunham’s less-than-supermodel appearance, Apatow finally got around … Continued

Entertainment, Movies, Television

Why Conservatives Should Cheer On HBO’s Girls

With apologies to RJ Moeller, I’m going to have to side with Ashley E. McGuire on this one. Conservatives can do much better than Phil Robertson. Otherwise, as Ashley observes, he’ll join a long line of conservative cultural warriors like Carrie Prejean who fall short of the standards they try to uphold leaving their erstwhile … Continued

Entertainment, Television

Why Good Girls Watch Bad TV Shows

R.J. Moeller’s post, “Tina Fey, Lena Dunham and the Vapid Ethos of ‘Girls,’” got me thinking about why we watch disapproving television shows – shows that celebrate crassness above virtue. As Mr. Moeller points out, Tina Fey plays the part of a “new cast member”– a poor Albanian immigrant who, in her words, is “happy … Continued

Entertainment, Television

Give Monogamy a Chance

The hit HBO series Girls, which is wildly popular with twenty-something audiences, is also notorious for its frank portrayals of the dark side of the casual-sex culture reigning among America’s young adults. I’ve written about the show for Acculturated, but as a reminder, in the first season of the show, the main character, Hannah (played by Lena … Continued

Books, Culture, Entertainment, Television