Lena Dunham: The Internet is the Cause of Every 'True Pain' I've Experienced as an Adult

by Antoinette Bueno 8:43 AM PDT, October 15, 2015
Photo: Harper's Bazaar

Being on the Internet has been both a blessing and a curse for Lena Dunham.

The always outspoken 29-year-old Girls creator covers Harper's Bazaar's November issue, and goes topless for the accompanying photoshoot. She also bluntly talks about how reading stories about herself on the Internet has greatly affected her.

"I've been put to bed for weeks from reading things about myself on sites that used to be considered feminist gospel," Dunham reveals. "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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"Celebrities can complain all they want about how cruel Twitter is, but we signed up for it. Who didn't sign up for it are the teenage girls who bully each other to suicide using Twitter," she further points out. "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."

Photo: Harper's Bazaar

Dunham does acknowledge how influential she is on social media. But she stresses that she never claimed to be "the voice of a generation," even though she's often given that label.

"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 says. "Yes, I will tweet about my issues with underpants, but I also want to say things that matter. I don't want to be out on the town spreading messages I can't get behind. Which is good because I never leave my house."

Dunham turns 30 next year, and says she couldn't be happier.

"I'm psyched about it because I think that being in your 20s -- especially as a woman -- there's an inherent tension," she explains. "Ageism exists in all directions, but it isn't the sweet spot for being taken seriously in the workplace. I've been really lucky. I got to do a lot of things before I was 30 that most people don't."

One example is her latest project -- a half-hour HBO comedy pilot called Max, which is set in the magazine world of the 1960s. Dunham is set to direct.

Photo: Harper's Bazaar

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Earlier this month, Dunham explained to Ellen DeGeneres why she and her boyfriend, musician Jack Antonoff, have yet to tie the knot even though she said they would wed once gay marriage was legal in the United States. Watch Ellen hilariously put her in the hot spot in the video below!