In today’s celebrity section of the newspaper, there is a brewing smackdown thanks to Joan Rivers and her verbal fat attack on actress Lena Dunham. Rivers is no stranger to controversial comments from her perch on Fashion Police or her reality TV show Joan Knows Best. She’s called out plenty of women for their dress, their hair, and their body size, and takes plenty of jabs at herself as well. But I believe she’s gone too far with the degrading remarks she made in her new memoir Diary of a Mad Diva.
In one chapter, she calls out Dunham for her “persistent nudity” in her HBO show Girls, going as far as labeling her the “first fat naked girl on television” where viewers are forced to watch the show with “their hands over their eyes. If Dunham is free enough to have [herself] on display, why isn’t she free enough to have a [expletive] salad once in a while?”
Wow. Now, I may not be a Dunham fan, especially after she labeled herself a “pioneer” for women in Hollywood while standing in front of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler on the dais. A bit cocky if you ask me. But where does Rivers, the queen of smackdowns, get off tearing any other woman down this way? Rivers battled bulimia for years. Yes, she, like so many other famous women in Hollywood from Karen Carpenter and Jane Fonda to Snooki and Ke$ha, struggled with an eating disorder due to the thin-tastic plastics admiration society. Dunham is an example of a woman, a typically sized American woman, who is comfortable in her body and shows it off. It’s a behavior to be admired, modeled, and celebrated. Curves are beautiful. Men on the whole love them on you, ladies.
So to Joan, and all the other haters out there, I say to you enjoy your salad. Put a little steak on it with some avocado and yummy dressing. Chase it with a loaf of garlic bread and a beer. And then come join the rest of us in the real world where we’re all just happy human bodies walking around in our undies.
By Andrew Walen, LCSW-C - Founder, Executive Director, Psychotherapist at The Body Image Therapy Center. If you would like to get in touch with Andrew please call 443-602-6515 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.