Lena Dunham blames Internet for 'every piece of true pain I've experienced as an adult'
Lena Dunham has a love-hate relationship with the Internet, stating that the World Wide Web has become a place of negativity while it should be used as a platform for self expression — something she hopes to change with her new feminist newsletter, "Lenny."
In a new interview with Harper's Bazaar published Thursday, Dunham talked about the struggles she's had to face online, illustrated by her withdrawal from Twitter in response to body shamers and trolls in September.
"I've been put to bed for weeks from reading things about myself on sites that used to be considered feminist gospel," she said. "I love the Internet because every piece of true pain I've experienced as an adult — with the exception of death in the family and breakups — has come from it."
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Dunham railed against the dangers of social media, where she says users resort to bullying — instead of buoying — each other.
"Celebrities can complain all they want about how cruel Twitter is, but we signed up for it," she continued. "Who didn't sign up for it are the teenage girls who bully each other to suicide using Twitter. There's no shortage of stories of how Twitter and Instagram and Facebook — these incredible tools for self-expression — have also led to girls feeling ostracized, alone, slut-shamed. We just want to restore some semblance to safety."
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Because of that, Dunham will not offer a comments section within her weekly online newsletter Lenny, which she co-founded with "Girls" producer Jenni Konner.
"It never ends well," she said about comments sections. "I mean, have you ever read, "Girls, let's all go meet for drinks! You guys are such nice people!"
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Her grand ambition, she said, is for the newsletter to become a "safe place for women on the Internet that's funny and not snarky." Lenny has already picked up steam as a place for women to express themselves: Jennifer Lawrence wrote an op-ed about the gender pay gap in Hollywood on Tuesday, a topic on which she said she's kept largely silent.
And while Dunham has experienced the pitfalls of social media and the Internet, she strives to use her new newsletter "to spread positivity."
"I know I'm not most moms' idea of a role model, but I try to use the attention that comes with that wisely and not foolishly," she said.
"Girls" returns to HBO in January.
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