Book Review: Not That Kind Of Girl
ashley | I’ve been waiting for Not that Kind Of Girl by Lena Dunham since it was first announced that she was writing a book. I can’t say I’m a huge fan of Dunham, I have a mixed love/hate relationship with her show, but I can’t deny that I find her inspirational. We’re similar in age, we seem to have similar dreams for ourselves, I feel like I have been in or at least can empathize with a lot of situations her character ends up in, so I can’t deny, either, that I wanted to see how all of this comes out in book form.
At times, everything seems a bit scattered, but this chaos speaks true to the chaos of Dunhum’s life. She’s always been very candid about her personal life and her personal problems and this book is no different. It’s sexually aggressive, honestly expressive and exactly what I was expecting. Not in a predictable way, but a satisfying, reliable way. The kind of feeling you want from a friend when you go to them for advice or to make you feel a bit better about something. Comforting. It might be a bit strange to find some of the content uplifting, but it’s more that I felt liberated and inspired and not cornered in by thoughts and feelings because Dunham laid them all out for me so openly and on display.
The essay that spoke to me most was Girl Crush, where Dunham discusses her envy for certain types of women. This is something I have had many discussions about and kind of even touches on what could explain my interest in dysfunctional families as well (which is something I’ve also been talking about a lot in recent reviews). Dunham certainly has a lot of eccentric experiences and worries, but when I can see myself in her words and stories, even only brief glimpses, I feel connected and drawn in and that’s what I was hoping for from this.
Now that I’m older, I realize that everyone has similar worries, insecurities and self-hate to what I had in high school, which grew more aggressive in college and have now managed to become somewhat controllable. But when you’re in those moments, you feel like you’re the only person on earth with those feelings and you feel completely misunderstood. That’s what this book takes me back to. It’s a reminder of all those confused, unhealthy, mixed up feelings a lot of people deal with in the younger, changing years of their lives. And it’s interesting reading about it now, relating to it from a safe distance in the future, but I really kind of wish I had read more things like this during that time, to remind myself that I wasn’t alone with my demons.
Ultimately, there isn’t really much to take away from this book, no real lessons learned, it’s a lot of self-obsessed, scatterbrained stories about different situations she has ended up in that could be seen as shameful. But Dunham writes without shame, she writes without hesitation, she writes without judgement. She may not have it all together, she may be lost and confused, but she does it with a confidence that speaks well beyond her years and personally, I find that inspiring and like I said, oddly comforting.