Lena Dunham may be riding high professionally, with the much-anticipated final season of HBO’s Girls set to premiere this Sunday. But on a personal level, she has not been doing well in the three months since Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election.
Dunham, who was a major supporter of and surrogate for Clinton during the campaign, told The View on Friday that she “found the night of the election to be so shocking and traumatizing,” adding, “If I felt that way, I can't imagine how the people so at risk in this country right now must have felt.”
“I mean, if a rich white girl who's on television is breaking out in hives,” she continued, “how do undocumented Americans feel, Islamic-Americans, trans-Americans, all the people who Donald Trump has made it so clear that he doesn't consider human and doesn't have any interest in protecting?”
At the same time, Dunham urged Trump’s critics not to resort to the same sort of name-calling and body-shaming that he employed throughout his campaign. Instead of calling him the “orange giant,” she said, “He's so full of hateful rhetoric, his policies are so ridiculous, why don't we use our brains and our smarts and gather around and talk about that and not stoop of [his] level?”
Dunham then shared with the host photos of her Halloween costume from just before the election. She dressed as a “grabbed pussy” — or “grabbed vagina” as she was forced to say on ABC — in an attempt to “take back some of the power from Donald Trump's horrifying admission of sexual assault.”
The View guest host for the day Bob Saget could not help but ask Dunham about some comments she made on The Howard Stern Show last week in which she attributed her recent weight loss to the election.
“Donald Trump became president and I stopped being able to eat food,” Dunham told Stern on his SiriusXM show. “Everyone’s been asking like, ‘What have you been doing?’ And I’m like, ‘Try soul-crushing pain and devastation and hopelessness and you, too, will lose weight.'”
“I know that the right-wing media had a real field day with that, like ‘Liberal so weakened she cannot eat food because of Donald Trump,’” Dunham said on Friday. She wasn’t kidding. Among the headlines on conservative websites were Breitbart’s “Lena Dunham: ‘Soul-Crushing Pain’ of Trump’s Election Caused My Weight Loss” and The Blaze’s “Lena Dunham is so depressed over Trump winning that she’s losing weight.”
“What I was trying to express is that this has been a trigger for all of us in different ways,” Dunham explained. "And I know that if I'm not hungry, we have a real freaking problem on our hands.” When Joy Behar responded by calling her a “a very normal looking girl that's a little bit thin,” Dunham replied, “‘A little bit thin’ is the nicest thing anyone's ever said to me.’”
Later in the show, Dunham, who has said she wants to fight for the rights of all women, had a message for the 53 percent of white women who voted for Trump. They were “not only voting against the interests of their sisters, of women who may not look like them, who they may not understand, but whose rights are just as important,” but also “voting against their own best interest.”
“It pains me as a Caucasian women to think about how many women didn't think about women who looked different or had different life experiences than them,” she added. “They didn't look outside their own backyard when they made the choice to vote for Donald Trump.”
When the hosts pushed back by saying even in “their own back yard,” there were no jobs or opportunities, Dunham said, “So many women aren't raised with the rhetoric of self-empowerment. The messages they're hearing from Donald Trump may be similar to the messages they've heard from their fathers, their brothers, their husbands. They haven't been given the message that they do matter.”