Belfast Telegraph

Lena Dunham: Internet is full of pain

Girls star Lena Dunham realises she isn't most people's idea of a great role model.

Girls star Lena Dunham insists the internet has caused almost every piece of true pain she's felt as an adult.

The 29-year-old actress has been at the centre of many headlines since hitting the big time with her TV show. In part it's because she doesn't conform to the usual Hollywood body type, and she is also very outspoken. That has led to a lot of criticism online, something which has taken its toll on her over time.

"I've been put to bed for weeks from reading things about myself on sites that used to be considered feminist gospel," she told Harper's Bazaar. "I love 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."

Things got so bad for Lena that she quit using Twitter earlier this year (15), although she still posts on Instagram. Although she's pretty relaxed about all the hateful messages she's received, what worries the star is the impact such comments have on others.

"Celebrities can complain all they want about how cruel Twitter is, but we signed up for it," she said. "Who didn't sign up for it are the teenage girls who bully each other to suicide using Twitter. 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 ostracised, alone, s**t-shamed. We just want to restore some semblance to safety."

Girls has been declared the TV show of a generation, with Lena apparently speaking for a stream of 20-something women who are trying to make it in cites all over the globe. She is very aware she isn't many people's idea of a role model, but that doesn't bother her. Instead she's vowed to use her fame for good, encouraging people to treat each other well and have fun in life.

The star is gearing up to turn 30 next year (16) and couldn't be happier about the prospect. In part that's because she has finally realised being "cool" isn't the be all and end all of life.

"I don't feel cool now, and I certainly don't feel cool when I go to industry events," she laughed. "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 s**t if you know that my jacket is from (store) Ann Taylor."

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