Lena Dunham. Love her or hate her, she’s one of the few women on our screens who represents your everyday gal in Hollywood. So, when the rumour mill starts running about how Anna Wintour is actively trying to get Lena Dunham to cover Vogue, there should be more than a few nods of approval.
The reason behind Wintour’s bidding is because, ‘Anna is trying to seduce Lena into bringing her next-generation audience into the Vogue brand.’ It’s about high time, too, as having a woman like Lena Dunham on the cover would make me read Vogue. Lena Dunham is the modern day woman who gives an honest voice of twenty-something women. Albeit, it’s not always a pretty voice, but in her film Tiny Furniture and her hit, award-winning show Girls, she brings relatable characters and topics about the millennial generation.
Lena Dunham is known for having a healthy figure and not being afraid to exhibit it, which, yes, is a great reason to why they should feature her on the cover of Vogue, because young women in this day and age need a role model who isn’t a size zero. However, her figure shouldn’t be the main factor of why it’s great to have a talented woman like Lena Dunham on the cover.
The reason why we should have Lena Dunham, and other women similar, is because she is one of the few women out there who writes, directs and stars in her own show, and the world always needs for plenty more successful and creative women in their glossy mags. Earlier this year, Indiewire reported how there’s only one female director to, roughly, every fifteen male (the exact number is 15.24). Out of their study, which assessed 11,197 directors, they found that only 29.8% of filmmakers in the industry are female. To say the least, this is pretty god-damn disheartening.
Why is there such a huge gap between men and women in the film industry? Well, it’s hard to just pin it on one reason. A few of the reasons Indiewire offer are: women find it hard to network with men in the film industry, some women can’t get enough funding for their films, and some women have reported that they can’t get hired simply because they are a woman.
But what if there aren’t as many women who want to be filmmakers? Honestly, I wouldn’t find that unbelievable. From personal experience, I found that in my film groups at degree level and A-level there was a higher male to female ratio of students. The reason behind this could be because films can exclude women. It’s no secret how Hollywood stereotypes women, objectifies women and also instil a fear of growing old into actresses of the industry. Even the supposed ‘female friendly’ rom-com genre, women are seen as clichés who have to undergo a transformation, mostly a physical one, to achieve their personal goals and win their man.
Even if this contributes to the problem, it still doesn’t fully explain why there’s a lack of female film students, but then we look at drama classes, which are famously packed with women who strive to be on the silver screen.
However, these statistics doesn’t mean that there aren’t any great female filmmakers (Sofia Coppola, Andrea Arnold and Jane Campion, to name a few). Even though the statistics are so dismal, I’d like to think things are looking up, since it still feels recent when Kathryn Bigelow was the first woman to win Best Director for Hurt Locker. We can only hope that her success might inspire a generation of females to participate behind the camera.
So, bring on the Lena Dunham’s of the world. Give them magazine covers, and let’s not just concentrate on their beauty, but their achievements and success in their chosen fields. In the future, hopefully there will be more women who pursue the film industry, who feel inspired to follow the lead of female filmmakers like Lena Dunham.
- Lena Dunham May Finally Get A Vogue Cover: Would You Buy? (styleblazer.com)
- Poll: Would You Like to See Lena Dunham Cover Vogue Magazine? (eonline.com)
- Anna Wintour wants Lena Dunham for Vogue cover (maiablogging.wordpress.com)