This week, the world was “rocked” (the world REALLY needs to check itself) by Lena Dunham posting a photo of two negative pregnancy tests on her Instagram account. The snap wasn’t designed as a newsflash, instead it was labelled clearly as a throwback photo and had, naturally, a deep political message behind it. As Stylist explains:
“In the photo, Dunham tagged the Instagram account of Planned Parenthood – the US non-profit organisation that provides women with reproductive health services, including abortions. Women’s reproductive rights, particularly when it comes to abortion, have always been a contentious issue in the States, and Donald Trump has said that he would restrict women’s access to abortions at Planned Parenthood if he became president.”
Now, I love this. Dunham has long topped my Fantasy Friends list for a multitude of reasons (have you seen Girls on HBO? If not, why not?) and I genuinely believe she’s one of a handful of creative performers who are really changing the landscape of entertainment and, simultaneously, the way young women regard their place in society. She just so bloody good for us. She’s like an extra-strength shot of wheatgrass vodka for the soul.
For a young, famous woman to use something as frothy as Instagram to expose her own, possibly frightening private experiences as a 20-something is both controversial and brave. Sure, there’s the argument that pee sticks don’t belong on Instagram, nestled amidst the no-filter sunsets and cartoon-sized, jiggling derrières. But so what? If just one terrified 19-year-old out there, perhaps waiting for that little cross of destiny to appear or not appear, feels just a little bit less alone in her predicament, then Dunham has proved her worth as a public figure.
That young woman (and thousands like her) needs to know that, whatever the outcome, there are options available to her. Options like Planned Parenthood, a safe house for young people who find themselves in unexpected circumstances where a friendly face will offer practical solutions and much-needed support. In a single post on social media, Dunham has achieved what hours of political campaigning might not.
As a pin-up for thinking girls everywhere, Dunham strives again and again to use her talent and success to make life better for her fellow woman. And she nails it. She’s the new breed of celebrity that makes my heart sing. LONG LIVE LENA.