HBO Girls star Lena Dunham is everywhere these days. With ELLE and Vogue covers under her belt already, it was only a matter of time before Harper’s Bazaar tapped her for its cover girl. Dunham appears on the cover of the magazine’s November “The Daring Issue,” styled in a black Ralph Lauren turtleneck. Highlighting risk takers and style makers, this issue is a natural fit for the 29-year-old feminist actress, known for constantly breaking the boundaries.
Harper’s Bazaar coins Dunham the “Internet’s whipping girl,” as she has taken a lot of negative criticism online. “I’ve been put to bed for weeks from reading things about myself on sites that used to be considered feminist gospel,” she stated. “I love the Internet because it helped me discover everything that matters to me. But I also hate the internet because every piece of true pain I’ve experienced as an adult—with the exception of death in the family and breakups—has come from it.”
“Celebrities can complain all they want about how cruel Twitter is, but we signed up for it,” Dunham said in a conversation about exposure to social media. “There’s no shortage of stories of how Twitter and Instagram and Facebook, these incredible tools for self-expression, have also led to girls feeling ostracized, alone, slut-shamed. We just want to restore some semblance to safety.”
Dunham will also celebrate a big birthday next year. “I’m so excited about turning 30,” she told Harper’s Bazaar. “I’m psyched about it because I think that being in your 20s—especially as a woman—there’s an inherent tension. Ageism exists in all direction, but it isn’t the sweet spot for being taken seriously in the workplace. I’ve been really lucky. I got to do a lot of things before I was 30 that most people don’t.”
With four seasons of Girls under her belt, a best-selling memoir, frequent essays for The New Yorker and new feminist e-newsletter site Lenny, Dunham is the definition of the millennial cool girl. She doesn’t see herself that way at all, though. Cool to her is when you’re able to do whatever you want. “I don’t feel cool now, and I certainly don’t feel cool when I go to industry events,” she says. “If I do feel cool, I see a picture of myself later and I’m like, ‘That was a disaster.’ What I do feel is a freedom from certain kinds of pressures. Now I don’t give a shit if you know my jacket is from Ann Taylor.”
Speaking of Ann Taylor, she actually does own a monogrammed denim jacket from the brand. And when Harper’s Bazaar hinted around to a future collaboration, she said, “My dream!” Perhaps in the near future, as Dunham went on to say, “Ann Taylor, I want to help you guys do the capsule collection of the millennium. We’re secreting this into the world.”
Fame aside, her top goal is to spread positivity around the world. “I know I’m not most moms’ idea of a role model, but I try to use the attention that comes with that wisely and not foolishly,” Dunham said. “Yes, I will tweet about my issues with underpants, but I also want to say things that matter.”
Pick up the Harper’s Bazaar November issue to read the full interview.
[via Harper’s Bazaar]