In anticipation of the release of her upcoming book, Lena Dunham is doling out advice in a series of YouTube videos, which feature an Eloise-esque backdrop and cameos from her dog, Lamby. Dunham’s book, Not That Kind of Girl, is a collection of personal essays presented as something of an advice book—as Michiko Kakutani writes in her positive New York Times review it’s “a kind of memoir disguised as an advice book, or a how-to-book (as in how to navigate the perilous waters of girlhood) in the guise of a series of personal essays”—hence the videos fit the theme.
The topics Dunham tackles in the video aren’t necessarily out of left field considering her body of work. In the first, she counsels a woman who considers herself a feminist but also likes to “dress like a ho.”
“You have to love yourself to love someone who is going to love you,” Dunham tells a woman who asks her about her tendency to sleep with awful people.
Dunham also takes the bold move of telling a man who wrote in about how he doesn’t find his girlfriend funny that their relationship is over. “I think what you need to do is let her free to find someone who is amused by her and take a little journey with yourself,” Dunham says, advising him to figure out what attracted him to his girlfriend in the first place. “So, yeah, it’s done between you guys.”
Other videos tackle topics like OCD (she tells a woman who is reluctant to see a doctor to get help) and writing. One woman wanted to know if there was a time when Dunham, as a young female writer, was told to be more “serious” or was “made to feel insecure” about writing from personal experiences, and asked Dunham to dole out advice to those who might be going through something similar. “As trite as it is, what I kept returning to was the idea that the personal is political and that by sharing your own stories you are essentially performing a kind of activism that’s very important, especially as a woman right now in America,” she says.
Not That Kind of Girl is on sale Sept. 30.