Lena Dunham's dishing out advice in a new Youtube series, "Ask Lena" and it's predictably awesome.
Each and every episode is worth watching, if not for the great advice, than for the quirky anecdotes. Lena dances with her dog, places awkward, imaginary phone calls to her grandma and concludes episodes with lines like, "I don't care if you think I'm fat." (Can we get that on a bumper sticker?)
Here's the very best advice we learned from "Ask Lena"...
1. On being confident in your body:
"Confidence comes from being happy with my habits, feeling like I can be proud of my life… That doesn’t mean losing 30 pounds, that means taking care of myself and treating myself like precious cargo."
Lena adds that, after being lots of different weights and sizes, she's learned that being comfortable in your body in the biggest turn-on:
2. On whether you can be a feminist while wearing booty shorts. (You totally can.):
"A huge part of being a feminist is giving other women the freedom to makes choices you might not necessarily make yourself. Just like we should accept women who cover up for reasons of shyness or modesty or religious beliefs... We have to allow for the women who want to walk down the street in booty shorts."
Any questions? Watch the whole thing:
3. On how to stop dating people who are bad for you:
"You have to love yourself to love someone whose going to love you. Let’s take a moment to think about whether that made sense. An attraction to nice people is truly something that comes when you have an attraction to yourself."
Lena recalls the unsavory gentlemen she used to date during a less self-actualized time in her life:
4. On dealing with a mental illness:
Lena has spoken openly about her struggles with mental illness, and she urges one of her fans to seek medical help for her OCD:
"There's so much stigma around mental illness in our society, and you probably feel like you're supposed to muscle through this and tough it out. If you had diabetes, you wouldn't say, I don't think I should be allowed to have insulin. In order to tame the beast enough that you can analyze it, you need to go talk to someone who can help you...
5. On feeling sympathy, not anger, towards the people who used to bully you:
Lena tells a fan who fantasizes about telling off her high school bully that, "If you're happy with your own current situation, which I hope you are, you're going to feel a pity for people who felt the need to... cut you down to size... A lot of people hurt other people because they don’t think that they matter."
6. On having better sex:
One fan says that her insecurities about sex have been ruining her sex life, and Dunham says she totally relates: "I don't even think I thought about whether I was enjoying sex until I was 25 because I was so worried about whether other people were enjoying sex with me that it never would have occurred to me that it's an act I was supposed to receive any pleasure from."
Now, she knows that, "Having good sex takes two people who want to make other people feel good." Lena recalls the years of unsatisfying sex that it took for her to reach this understanding:
7. On not staying in a relationship with somebody you don't thoroughly enjoy (for both your sakes):
Lena tells Jonathan, her male fan who wrote in about his "unfunny" girlfriend, to "Examine why you’re with a person who doesn’t make you laugh."
Lena suggests that Jonathan stop stringing his girlfriend along and set her free to find somebody who loves her and her sense of humor:
8. On writing about your own life experiences:
Lena recalls feeling insecure about writing her personal experiences, but says she's learned to stop doubting herself:
"By sharing your own stories, you’re essentially performing a kind of activism that’s very important, especially as a woman right now in America. By sharing things that are close to you, you will connect to other people who feel alone in the world."
9. On being comfortable with your mortality:
"Thinking about death every single day can actually make you feel more connected to your life.... I was just lying in bed the other day pretending that I was on the verge of dying and looking out the window and thinking 'What if this is the last moment I ever existed?' And I kind of felt cool about it."
10. On feeling jealous of a friend:
"All the time you spend being jealous of other people is time you’re not spending focusing on your own vision for yourself and pushing yourself forward. Make a fatty To-Do list and hit that shit hard. I guarantee you when you feel excited about your own pursuits… you’re going to be too narcissistic to even worry about what [your friend] is up to."
If you want more of Lena's unfiltered advice, check out her book, Not That Kind Of Girl, which hits bookstores on September 30. The collection of personal essays promises more of her wisdom, insight and most delightfully embarrassing confessions.