Belfast Telegraph

Lena Dunham's first tattoo was a family affair

Lena Dunham's whole family went with her when she had her first tattoo aged 17.

The 28-year-old star has several inkings, but it's the one she got when she was 17 that has the most meaning for her. She was always a huge fan of the Eloise children's books, which were illustrated by Hilary Knight. The star decided to get the character etched on her back, with her family fully supportive of the decision.

"I had been begging and begging [to be allowed to have a tattoo]. And my dad was like, ‘Well, I don’t want you to go to some trashy place, so we’ll go together,’" she told New York Daily News' Confidenti@l. “It was in a strip mall in Taos [New Mexico] but they totally did the job, and my whole family was with me and they were very supportive of it, and it’s graced my body for the 11 years since."

Lena decided on Eloise for her first foray into tattooing because she knew she'd never grow bored of the character, so it seemed like a safe bet. More than that, she felt a deep affinity with the character, who lived at the top of the Plaza Hotel in New York City with her nanny, pug dog and turtle.

“I think so many young women were obsessed with Eloise’s unruly magic,” she said. “She’s just such a remarkably independent, vanity-free, complex little girl, and as a little girl you don’t see that many representations of yourself beyond a good little child with pigtails. So it was meaningful.”

In fact, the books mean so much to Lena, she's executive produced a short film about the illustrator called It’s Me, Hilary: The Man Who Drew Eloise. The two got in touch when Hilary, 88, discovered there was a young female star who was inked with his work. He wrote her a letter, which was the beginning of their friendship.

The short film sees Hilary discussing his work as an illustrator and how he views the Eloise books.

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