Future and Present Imaginaries: The Politics of the Ageing Female Body in Lena Dunham’s Girls (HBO, 2012–Present)

  • Ros JenningsEmail author
  • Hannah Grist


This chapter explores the intergenerational imagining and representation of becoming/being an older woman in Lena Dunham’s Girls (2012–). Notions of chronological age and the ideal female body have been dominant aspects of the intertextual context of the series from the outset and much has been made of Dunham’s own youth and body type. With the politics of cultural ageism in mind, this chapter argues that Girls’ representation of older age and the female body is complex; while Girls is largely unable to transcend dominant negative tropes configured around biomedical notions of old age as success or decline, through the postmaternal mother Girls offers a more diverse and powerful vision of older age which differs from hegemonic representations.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of GloucestershireCheltenhamUK

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