Writers have been there, but never Dunham this

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By Colleen Day

Lena Dunham’s tell-all book composed of hilarious, wise, and a fiercely frank collection of personal essays on growing up is a creative gem. Reminiscent of candid stand-up comic, actress, and former talk show host, Chelsea Handler’s, “Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea,” Dunham’s book was published in September and has been sitting comfortably in the spotlight ever since.

Dunham, the creator, producer and star of HBO’s hit series, “Girls,” plays a 20-something narcissistic aspiring writer named Hannah Horvath who is left to her own devices after being cut-off from her parents living in New York City.

While the show has snagged an Emmy for outstanding casting and Dunham has collected a Golden Globe for best performance by an actress in a television series comedy or musical, her book has been named one of the ten best sellers of the year by “The New York Times” with critics betting it could surpass Tina Fey’s famous, “Bossypants,” in the upcoming months.

Acclaimed indie comic Dunham illustrates in her book her personal experiences trying to find “Mr. Right,” the constant grievances of being overweight despite her best efforts, and even divulges readers on her wild, and sometimes illegal, party-girl antics.

Photo courtesy of Lena Dunham’s Facebook page

The book, structured into five sections from “Love and Sex,” to “Body,” “Friendship,” “Work,” and “Big Picture” all are written in a diary entry format jam-packed with her brutally honest perception of herself and life.

The introduction begins, “I am twenty years old and I hate myself. My hair, my face, the curve of my stomach. The way my voice comes out wavering and my poems come out maudlin.”

What makes the book so unique and a worthwhile read is the complete bluntness from a celebrity with more than 360,000 Twitter followers and 106,000 on Instagram, constantly bashing herself for the world to read.

While fans may wish to read a book that presents Dunham as a role model and to embody the “love yourself first” campaigns seen all over social media, she weaves in lessons about what she’s learned and speaks to her fan base in ways that are expected, adorably sincere, and authentic.

“I dye my hair a fluorescent shade of yellow, cutting it into a mullet more inspired by photos of the 1980s teen mothers than by any current beauty trend. I dress in neon spandex that hugs in all the wrong places. My mother and I had a massive fight when I choose to wear a banana-printed belly shirt and pink leggings to the Vatican and religious tourists gawk and turn away,” she writes.

Dunham makes it effortless for readers to peak into her mind, hear her voice and feel like she is your best friend telling you everything about her life on the phone. Recapping specific events, sometimes cheerful, she also rants and expresses just how dark the world seemed at times despite her on- and off-screen praise from the public.

Disclosing the stresses and anxiety about weight and her childhood fear of developing anorexia overnight, she speaks directly to her intended audience of female readers who have likely experienced the same worries and experiences.

On her decision to go vegan she writes, “While my veganism began as a deeply felt moral position, it soon morphed into a not-very-effective eating disorder. I never thought of it as a diet, but it was a way to limit the vast world of food that I had once loved so dearly — I had the feeling I could go mad if not given any boundaries.”

She continues, “I’d be like that guy who drank the ocean and still wasn’t satisfied.”

Through these honest testimonies, witty commentary and overall amusing prose, Lena Dunham’s book is undoubtedly worth all the attention it has been given in bookstores across the world.