Lena Dunham Naked – Nude HBO Scenes in Girls Create Drama

| January 12, 2014 | 7 Comments

Why So Much Drama Over Lena Dunham Nude HBO Scenes in Girls?

Lena Dunham Naked and Nude Scenes On HBO Show Girls:

Lena Dunham Naked and HBO Nude Scenes – As the hit HBO series Girls enters its third season, the show’s nudity seems to be on everyone’s minds once again. As I discussed in my past article about Lena Dunham, the very honest and unapologetic nudity onscreen has been a frequent topic of discussion and big point of criticism.

Lena Dunham plays the main character, Hannah. She is probably the one we see naked most often. She’s been frequently asked about the nudity in interviews. Eventually, Dunham seemed to get annoyed by the questions.

The nudity question was recently brought up again. This time, in an interview with Bernard Molloy on The Wrap. He asked Dunham precisely why the Girls character she portrays “is naked so much?”

He said, “I don’t get the purpose of all the nudity on the show. By you particularly. I feel like I’m walking into a trap where you say no one complains about the nudity on Game of Thrones, but I get why they’re doing it. They’re doing it to be salacious. To titillate people. And your character is often naked at random times for no reason.”

With regards to Girls, he just did not seem to be able to wrap his head around the fact that Dunham’s character is just naked for the sake of being naked.

Dunham replied by saying,”it’s a realistic expression of what it’s like to be alive, I think, and I totally get it. If you are not into me, that’s your problem.”

One would think that the discussion about Lena Dunham nude scenes would end there but no such luck!

Dunham’s co-producers, Judd Apatow and Jenni Konner, were really ticked off by Molloy’s question. Konnor was so angry during the interview that she couldn’t focus as the conversation progressed. She interrupted to say she was “spacing out because I’m in such a rage spiral about (Molloy). … This idea that you would talk to a woman like that and accuse a woman of showing her body too much. The idea it just makes me sort of sick.

Once the panel discussion was over, Apatow offered up some explanation to Molloy as to why the Lenha Dunham nude scenes are much more common than any of the other actor’s in the series. He went on to say that “Lena is confident enough to do it so we have the opportunity to talk about other issues because she is braver than other people. If Paul Rudd said to me, ‘I’m willing to be completely naked in the movie,’ I would use it … because it’s more honest.

HBO Nude Scenes of Lena Dunham Naked Vs. FB Friendly

HBO Nude Scenes of Lena Dunham Naked Vs. FB Friendly

Lena Dunham herself interjected that “I have people naked when they’re willing to do it.”

Apatow later argued with Molloy and said to him, “There’s a way to word a question about the reason for nudity on the show and it was not done elegantly. If you re-read it and you listen to it you will not be proud of yourself.” Apatow went so far as to say it was “sexist and offensive … misogynistic.”

Molloy is apparently baffled by the producers’ anger and wrote an article about it, saying he just asked out of curiosity as a TV critic. Perhaps we’re not getting the full meaning without hearing his tone when he asked it. But we can sort of see why they might take offense based on how he worded it and how Dunham responded. It’s as if he’s saying the nudity on Girls is obviously not meant to titillate because Hannah is not sexy and clearly not stripping down for the male gaze. And so, what’s the point. As if that can be the only point of women getting naked on TV, ever.

But, he would have a point. Since most nudity on TV these days is still based out of sexual contexts. A naked woman on TV almost always equals sexy time. On Girls, people are presented with a lot of everyday, realistic, nonsexual nudity, and they just don’t know what to do with it. Hannah is top-free and / or naked in a lot of funny contexts, but I think she’s still just representing reality.

She’s a bit more naked than your average super-modest friend, but I’d say it’s still a lot like real life. Some women do hang out naked eating cake at home and aren’t afraid to wear mesh tops in public. Doesn’t everyone have a friend that likes to be naked as much as her?

In a GQ interview when asked about critics calling her an exhibitionist, she replied, “I understand that (question) when the nudity and sex are taken out of context, but it’s not like my character is an exhibitionist – she’s just living her life, and I happen to be trying to capture her life on camera and not trying to avoid any parts of it. So I would think that the amount of nudity is entirely appropriate in the context of the show…”

In other TV shows, it’s common to see women having sex wearing bras, and they modestly pull up the bed sheet around them when their partner gets up in the morning. Maybe we should be asking those producers, why are all of your characters covered up so often? Even in sex scenes where nudity would be totally appropriate? Oh yeah, nudity censorship. Why do we have that again?

It’s not wrong for Molloy to ask about the artistic reasoning behind the nudity in Girls. I guess he could have worded it better. But I do think it’s become pretty clear by now that there is no special meaning behind the Lena Dunham Nude Scenes. As Lena says, it’s just a “realistic expression of what it’s like to be alive.”It’s reality, sans censorship and fabricated modesty.

In any case, their approach seems to be working as Girls has already been renewed for a fourth season. Catch the third season premiere tonight at 10 EST on HBO. You should also tweet, post and email supportive remarks to HBO, Lenha Dunham and to the entire Cast of Girls if you like it. I hope we see just as much nakedness this season! Perhaps by the end of of season three, people will begin to “get it” – Nudity and the Lena Dunham nude scenes, in and of themselves, are NOT lewd, sexual or shameful! It’s just life.

This post about the controversy over the Lena Dunham Naked and Nude Scenes in Girls was published by Young Naturists America

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Category: Social Nudity Blogs, Felicity's Nudist Blog, Naked News, Public Nudity, Art, Nudist Blogs

About the Author ()

Author of Felicity's Blog. Co-founder of Young Naturists America. 3rd-generation nudie. Avid reader. Feminist. 70% vegan, 30% vegetarian. When I'm not busy eating, I'm writing about naturism, censorship, topfree equality, body image and other fun topics. I like feedback, so plz leave a comment when you've got something to say!
  • scubyw

    MattManReturns  The problem for Tim Molloy is that HE asked the question. As you stated in your comment ‘ mainstream media teaches’. Tim Molloy reinforced that ‘teaching’ with his question. That is why the question is wrong, and that, I believe, caused Lena’s reaction. Which I think was very considered and controlled. The question was an insult. 

    Only when mainstream media is going to treat these programs the same as any other, they will get similar responses. As in my first comment, mainstream media is not asking why Batman (or Spiderman for that matter) is wearing that silly costume. You can consider asking anyone who is wearing a costume when playing a role, the question: ‘That silly suit it not natural. Why don’t you take it off ?’  
    If mainstream media is going to ask those questions they level the playing field to the level of the question that Lena was asked. 

    The problem would be that mainstream media would feel very silly asking those questions. Costumes are not questioned in dressed up roles. So why ask Lena such a question?

  • I feel sorry for Tim Molloy, because it looks like he was castigated for merely expressing a confusion inevitibly shared by many in Western society: “What’s the point of being naked, if it’s not related to sex?”

    Mainstream media teaches, through virtually all situations pertaining to nudity, that the view and exhibition of the naked body is only acceptible when it is in a sexual situation. (Roll the love-scene and cue the music.) This concept is reinforced (especially in comedies) when any non-sexual nudity is treated as embarrassing and/or disgusting. 

    Parents perpetuate and reinforce these concepts from an early age, by insisting children (even those who are years away from entering puberty) cover up their “naughty bits” lest those (in other words: “shameful”) parts be seen. The concepts are cemented when pre-pubescents are taught public nudity is dangerous, due to a justifiable fear of a rare sexual predator. A truth most Americans don’t understand is the lack of casual nudity is actually the foundation for these social ills — think “Pandora’s Box” and “Forbidden Fruit”. 

    It’s unfortunate that Tim Molloy’s question was misinterpreted as an insult to Lena Dunham, as if she weren’t aesthetically worthy to “titillate” an audience. He never intended for his question to be received that way. 

    Lena Dunham squandered an opportunity to be a voice for body-acceptance and non-sexual nudity. I think her own insecurities colored the question as a personal rejection. Her defensiveness illustrates how there is still a part of her that wrestles with not measuring up to the unrealistic standards of beauty idealized by mainstream media. Her response also initiated a “group-think” mentality, where others continued to misinterpret his question as well.

    This is an empathetic insight, not a condemnation of Lena Dunham, however. It’s understandable that anyone who is “exposed” to the reactions of millions of viewers would have a few insecurities. Public feedback can oft times be cruel, and I’m sure she and her crew have endured many disparaging remarks about her “average” non-idealized body. But Tim Mollon was an unfair target for venting their angst.

  • edavid57edavid

    Hi Felicity. I beleive you’ll like muy comment because I ‘m writing it while seen un muy countrry’s open TV a new chapter of a serie calles Gabriela. Is a brazilian made one by Rede Globo and based on a novel of the most important brazilian writer, Jorge Amado. This author who also wrote among others: Doña Flor and her two husbands wrote novels plenty in sensuality but with a good sense, so nudity and human sexual relations are common. Brasilian TV show all the novel as much near how was written by the author. How an open station could show this serie? First of all there, is a time schedule (after 22 hrs) in which this adult series are allowed. You can also watch some violent or police criminal series but mainly after 23 hrs or 11 pm. Human sexual relations of course are not refer on pornography. The images show the beauty of human body. Could this be understand by telecasters in USA?

  • natcase55418 Ok, yes, there is meaning in that it’s trying to represent reality. I think people are expecting a different / more elaborate answer – that it’s done to get attention & make money, or to be subversive, or to send a message about body acceptance / body shame. There is so much nudity in the show that is clearly not trying to be sexy at all (as it’s very often not sexy in real life either haha). People can see in the show that the nudity is not always about sexy time, and that’s what Molloy is getting at, albeit in a stupid way. 
    Thanks for your comment!

  • natcase55418

    I think part of what people get hung up on is that they think “meaning” has to be possible to spell out in essay form. There is a meaning, or any a meaningfulness, to showing characters “realistically”, or trying to. Trying to be a mirror to a reality in this way is a very specific mode of artistic creation, and it carries with it the idea (the meaning) that the unconstructed world is worth approaching, as it is, on its own terms. Of course, you can’t ever totally approach that world. There’s always artifice, always something in the way of complete immersion in the world. And some people take the impossibility of that perfect reflection and say, “right, then I’m going to create an in-your-face artificiality!” And that can be fun. But to say there’s no meaning to showing people naked in the context of attempting a mirror on reality is making a statement. It just is. What’s annoying is the insistence that that meaning, that statement, must somehow be about sex, because that’s what nudity is for. Sometimes it’s about just not having clothes on.

  • NickAlimonos

    Another well written article, Felicity! Congrats! I do think that a big part of helping the naturist movement grow in acceptance is changing attitudes in the media. Nudity is almost always associated with sex on TV and in movies and we need to work to change that perception. I am sometimes asked the same questions regarding the characters in my book, who do not wear clothes either. People seem unable to understand or imagine that human beings can be naked simply for the sake of being naked, for the freedom of it, and that clothing is unnecessary for humans to survive and/or socially interact. I hope that shows like “Girls” will help change this view, not only of nudity, but women who choose of their accord to go without clothing.

  • scubyw

    I don’t get it. “Maybe we should be asking those producers, why are all of your characters covered up so often?”
    Why don’t they ask other main characters similar questions? Like ‘why does Batman dress up in that silly costume?’ or ‘Why does David Letterman always wear a tie, even when he discusses ‘hot’ topics like raunchy roles in made-for-tv sex scenes?’ He gets hot under the collar and starts pulling his tie. 
    Why does it become so much different when characters dress down simply because they feel more comfortable? Are those TV critics so shallow that they really need to ask those stupid questions?