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Lena Dunham's Twitter Feed Becomes a Symposium on Lily Allen's "Hard Out Here"

by Sam Adams
November 13, 2013 3:28 PM
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If you've been anywhere near a place where the Internet exists in the last 24 hours, you've probably noticed that London songstress Lily Allen dropped her first new song in three years last night, and that's "dropped" as in a bomb. Opening with Allen getting liposuction as tut-tutting man in a suit looks down disapprovingly, "Hard Out Here" launches into a no-holds barred attack on popular culture's objectification of women and the appropriation of racially charged imagery -- which is to say, on Robin Thicke and Miley Cyrus. Champagne is popped, butts are twerked, and Mylar balloons spell out "Lily Allen has a baggy pussy." ("But I've had two kids," she protests in the opening scene.)

The world, as it was meant to, exploded with "Lily disses Miley!" headlines and counter-accusations that Allen was exploiting the same trends she pretends to critique, not to mention unloading a truckload of upper-class privilege. (Between them, Allen, Thicke and Cyrus are the spawn of two TV personalities and a country music star, which makes this seem like some sort of Big Brother-type feud.) 

But some of the most insightful comments, and certainly the widest range of opinions, came from Lena Dunham's Twitter feed, after she asked her followers to weigh in on the video. Dunham retweeted a wide range of responses -- roughly 80% of which were followed by "OMG LENA DUNHAM JUST RTED ME!" -- fomenting a conversation that's still going on. (Update: Allen has posted her own response to the criticisms; click through to hear from some of her dancers as well.)

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  • Dee | November 13, 2013 7:41 PMReply

    Love the old white guy giving twerking and hummer DIY.

  • Rik Neslo | November 13, 2013 5:28 PMReply

    So much overstanding. I think her message was clear. Only women in the video, and clearly "objectifying" each other in more-playful-than derogatory ways. And no commentary on how ridiculous the manager/pimp looked demonstrating the moves--and demonstrating his lack of moves, sexuality, or soul? I think Lily made a satirical show of it all. Deep thinkers overthunk

  • inthedottadavida | November 14, 2013 3:05 AM

    You don't think her or her producers would've looked at an all black positioning of "twerkers" as possibly being problematic? Kind of stupid. Not kind of satirical.

  • Shelly | November 13, 2013 5:03 PMReply

    Indiewire is now writing articles about Lena Dunham's twitter. Journalism may you rest in peace.

  • almfaoij | November 14, 2013 3:08 AM

    Lena Dunham is the heartbeat of America. Her rich, white New York privilege perspective of a dying country slowly falling into desperation is exactly the right voice on a subject such as race relations. Especially since her own show didn't have a single black woman in it till the fourth season. LOL!

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