Nitpickers love to question a lot of things about Girls creator and star Lena Dunham: her haircuts, her brazen self-confidence, her self-involved characters, her voting record, the lack of diversity on her show, the explicit sex on her show. But there’s one thing no one can question: her feminist credentials. She publicly campaigned for Obama’s pro-woman policies in an ad that upset some people for its sexual undertones. (Unsurprisingly, a young woman having sex and voting for Obama upsets Conservatives.) She’s a good writer with a startlingly clear vision for someone who’s just 26 — her film Tiny Furniture had a more indie sensibility, but Girls is a mainstream work that brings plenty of grit, substance, and freshness to chronicling the lives of young women. (Newsflash: Most 20-somethings do not spend their days in glossy offices performing dream jobs while going on glamorous dates with prince charmings, as many chick-lit-ish portrayals would have us believe.) Her insistence on appearing naked in almost every episode of her series is a subversive act. Her nudity is often casual, matter-of-fact — not objectifying — and her body type falls outside the strict parameters most of Hollywood sets for acceptable. And, in related news, her brazen self-confidence? Most young women can use a role model like that.
Dunham isn’t perfect — yes, more diversity on Girls would be nice, and she’s been called out for other expressions of racial insensitivity. She still has some things to learn — she’s 26, after all — but she’s also responded to the legitimate criticisms with good humor as well as action. We can’t wait to see what she does next.