Wednesday, September 14, 2016

It doesn't matter if you're rich or famous

Again, I don't know how to feel about this story.  Here's the deal: Lena Dunham, the creator, writer and star of the "Girls" series on HBO, went to a big deal fashion event in New York last week, something called the Met Gala.  I've never been invited to it, and that works out perfectly, because I have no interest in attending.  

But Lena wound up sitting next to Odell Beckham, Jr, star wide receiver for the New York Giants, and she got all worked up because, rather than sit and talk to her, he fooled around with his phone, flipping through Instagram.

So Lena, whose show I have not seen and whom I could not pick out of a photo array, decided (pick one):

  • to finish her tomato aspic and pheasant under glass
  • to talk to the person sitting on her OTHER side
  • to Tweet that "it was like he looked at me and he determined I was not the shape of a woman by his standards so he kept on looking at his cell and did not say a word."
Yes, she did the last.  She was hurt by what she took to be his rejection of her, deduced that it had to do with her looks, and told her friend Amy Schumer, "It was like we were forced to be together, and he literally was scrolling Instagram rather than have to look at a woman in a bow tie. I was like, 'This should be called the Metropolitan Museum of Getting Rejected by Athletes.' "

Well, really.  To be honest with you, I am a stranger to the selection committee for George Clooney Look-Alike Contests and no one is calling me to ask me to pose for their catalog or magazine. (AARP Digest was my last hope, and nothing.) And if I were seated next to a person who paid me no attention, I would chalk it up to "the whatevers" and move on.  

But Ms Dunham felt hurt, and we need to respect that.  All feelings are valid.  Chances are, Mr Beckham has not seen her show and did not know who she was in the first place, and it's certainly not as if he did something rude or nasty.  

And she gets credit for saying this, a few days later:  

I owe Odell Beckham Jr an apology.
Despite my moments of bravado, I struggle at industry events (and in life) with the sense that I don’t rep a certain standard of beauty and so when I show up to the Met Ball surrounded by models and swan-like actresses it’s hard not to feel like a sack of flaming garbage. This felt especially intense with a handsome athlete as my dinner companion and a bunch of women I was sure he’d rather be seated with. But I went ahead and projected these insecurities and made totally narcissistic assumptions about what he was thinking, then presented those assumptions as facts.
She was big enough to take back what she said.  I wonder, can we, as a culture, be big enough to start looking at what would cause a woman who is regarded as clearly bright, intelligent and witty feel this bad about herself?  
Frank with one of his fans

I keep thinking about the words of Frank Zappa: "There will come a time when everybody who is lonely will be free to sing and dance and love."

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