Paper magazine tapped Jane Fonda to interview their March cover star Lena Dunham. The 78-year-old and 29-year-old connected over issues related to body-shaming and feminism.
“I grew up with massive body image [issues] – my father made me feel that I was fat and unattractive and I don’t think he realized how destructive it was,” Fonda told Dunham, who had a very different experience growing up.
“Despite a knowledge that my body didn’t necessarily meet a perfect norm, I’ve also always felt [comfortable] – and I think a lot of it does come from my parents and that even in our most challenging moments, they’ve always sent me the message that I was, at my very core, ‘enough,'” Dunham said.
The Girls creator says this sense of comfort has translated into the characters she writes.
“All the characters I play always dress like they’re a size 0 when they’re actually a size 10,” Dunham told Fonda. “Some might call it ‘delusional’ and I like to think about it as this sort of rocket confidence that’s a little unearned but better than the opposite.”
Dunham’s parents were also responsible for introducing her to feminism. While Fonda says she entered the feminism realm late due to a preoccupation with activism against the Vietnam War, Dunham was raised with feminist ideals.
“[My mom] instilled it in me so deeply and I sort of thought, ‘Okay, she did the job and now the job is done and I just get to call myself a feminist and revel in what my mom did,’ “Dunham said. “And until I came to Hollywood and started witnessing the subtle but totally systemic sexism that pervades our industry, that’s when I really turned my attention to it again in a powerful way and it became a huge part of my adult identity and not just my inherited identity.”
With feminism being at the forefront of so many Hollywood discussions lately, Dunham, who is working to shed her ‘white feminist’ label, says she’s impressed with the new generation of stars who are dedicated to women’s issues.
We wonder what she thinks of Ashley Graham’s new SI cover!
Image credit: Twitter, Girls