White Girls: Why I’m OK with the Lack of Color on HBO’s Girls


Last Sunday, Lena Dunham reprised her role as Hannah Horvath on the HBO series Girls. For those who haven’t boarded the crazy train that is Girls let me give you a synopsis.

Hannah is an aspiring writer living in Brooklyn who is afflicted with OCD, socially awkward habits and a blunt selfishness that aligns with most assumptions of Millennials. With the help enabling of her girlfriends (Marnie, Shoshanna and Jessa), Hannah tries to figure out the Rubik cube puzzle that is her life.

Critiqued nearly as much as it is acclaimed, Girls depicts the lives of four middle-class white girls living in New York City post college graduation. As the show’s creator and star, Lena Dunham has been reprimanded for the lack of diversity on the show. I’ve been known to boycott shows for this very reason. (I still won’t watch Friends and if you read my SNL rant you’d think I’d feel the same way about this show.)

I contemplated on whether the absence of minorities on Girls bothered me and surprisingly enough, it didn’t! My logic came in stages.

1. When I started watching, I looked at the cast of Girls as a documentary of sorts…. A look into a world I knew nothing about (although I got glimpses in college during a summer internship in the city). At first it all seemed so exotic (rave parties, random hookups, sensitive boyfriends in bands). It was like a, “Oh, that’s why they do that,” kind of thing.

2. I then realized that although the people I tuned it to see each Sunday night didn’t look like me… a lot of their situations did. Hannah had a crappy unpaid internship, Shoshanna worried about not having enough sexual adventures before settling down with one guy, Jessa had daddy issues and Marnie was always freaking out about everything.  Every twentysomething has their own shit to deal with, which makes the show relatable.

3. I soon realized that Girls is a brilliant satire… on White girls, Millennials and urbanites. It’s not meant to be taken seriously and honestly, it isn’t meant for everyone to “get.” It's raw, honest and sometimes downright uncomfortable. It’s a commentary on a specific subculture and pure entertainment. Girls is a way for one young woman to make fun of the world around her.

A highlight of season 2

So, if you haven’t started watching Girls yet… why not? Check out the first and second episodes of the new season for free! If you’re already watching, check out Tiny Furniture or Frances Ha on Netflix. Both films are in the same vein of Girls and Dunham produced and stars in Tiny Furniture. As always, happy watching!

Catch new episodes Sunday nights at 10 PM (ET) on HBO.