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Lena Dunham’s insightful essay stresses the importance of individuality

Lena Dunham says she was a “bona-fide weirdo” in high school.

And that doesn’t seem like it’s really all that shocking; I have always had a vision of her in my head as a high schooler marching to the beat of her own drum. That drum apparently came in the form of yellow clogs.

In an essay penned for Seventeen magazine, Dunham tells their readers about a day when she experimented trying to fit in and be “normal” and how awkward it made her feel. It was one day in high school when she donned her most “normal” clothing and headed off to school that she realized she was going to be “Team Weirdo for life.” That day when she asked a classmate for a pencil, he leaned to another student and said, “Wow. She actually looks regular.”

It was this one sentence which led her to abandon “normal” and never look back. She said, “If regular means pretending that you don’t have passion and style, count me out. It’s not worth the pencil.”

She says that she was so far on the outside that she wasn’t exactly bullied, but “it was clear no one was crushing on me or even respecting me.”

Dunham does such a fantastic job explaining what it is like to be “different” during a time when all most individuals want to do is fit in. She says, “When you dare to be different, it’s like wearing a pair of glittery bunny ears… You’ve set yourself apart from the pack, and people… will lash out. Criticism is an essential part of being human. Constructive criticism from smart, kind people who care about enlightening you can help us grow. But most criticism we receive isn’t so constructive.”

She continues saying, “It’s the result of people in pain about what they perceive as their own failing. I listen to my loved ones and coworkers when they tell me I’ve disappointed them or could improve. I want my readers and viewers to tell me if my work upsets them. But criticism born of others’ insecurities? Ignore that.”

Her entire essay is so inspiring, you’ve got to read the entire thing.

More on Lena Dunham:

Lena Dunham: “I really messed myself up trying to lose weight”
Lena Dunham really shouldn’t have a driver’s license
Lena Dunham angers fans with Hillary Clinton endorsement

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