Lena Dunham graces the cover of ELLE magazine and opens up about how she feels about being famous in the accompanying interview. The ‘Girls’ star also poses for a photo shoot and displays a style paying homage to her fashion idol Debby Harry.

Lena Dunham

Photo: Lena Dunham
Credit: PR Photos

The title of the article is quite timely and telling, as it quotes her saying “I came into this job being myself so I’m free.” Not hype at all. Lena Dunham has been much in the news, and not particularly for her HBO series, ‘Girls,’ but mainly for her individuality as it has been manifest in many settings including her red carpet fashion choices mot most especially her memoir, ‘Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned.”

Perhaps in an era in which readership is on the decline, there is some small compensation for her that a published book is getting so much notice. But unfortunately, too, her story of having been raped while still a student at Oberlin College in Ohio has been disputed in ways that reveal to us how far our society must still go in even being receptive to hearing about the claims of victims. Yes, there is controversy even when such a victim tells her story several years later — and in fact, has publicly stated she does not want the sexual assault to define her.

As she has become a lightning rod on such substantive issues, Lena Dunham reveals she is more than willing. She told ELLE magazine, “I realized early on that I was not going to be able to have a comfortable relationship with celebrity if I didn’t feel like I was using it to talk about things that were important to me.”

She went on to say, “It was always going to make me feel gross, for lack of a better word. I was like, “Oh, this attention is something I’m going to figure out how to use in a way that feels productive, healthy, and smart. And not just like as an excuse to collect handbags.” She did then quip, “Although, (pause), I love handbags.”

Her success at age 28 on her own terms has been admirable even as she has drawn criticism for it. But, as Frank Sinatra once said, “The best revenge is massive success.” And towards that end, the new season of her hit series is upon us.