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Girls: As Famous as their Daddies

Is celebrity just white girl privilege or the downside of being a goddess?

by
Susan L.M. Goldberg

Bio

August 18, 2013 - 8:00 am
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From left to right: Zosia Mamet (father, David Mamet, screenwriter), Jemima Kirke (father, Simon Kirke, drummer of Bad Company), Lena Dunham (father, Carol Dunham, artist), and Allison Williams (father, Brian Williams, newscaster).

From left to right: Zosia Mamet (father, David Mamet, screenwriter), Jemima Kirke (father, Simon Kirke, drummer of Bad Company), Lena Dunham (father, Carol Dunham, artist), and Allison Williams (father, Brian Williams, newscaster).

Check out the first 10 installments of Susan L.M. Goldberg’s ongoing series dissecting HBO’s Girls:

June 6: A Biblical Feminist Confronts The Girls Goddesses, Part 1

June 16: Sex Mitzvah’d: Virginity Isn’t Easy for Girls

June 23: Money: Is That What Girls Goddesses Really Want?

June 30: Millennial Girls Are Easy: Sex, Power & Porn

July 7: Sex for Girls’ Sake: Porn, Art, or Both?

July 14: Single Issue Goddess: The War on Women’s Intellect

July 21: Her Body, Herself: The Right Size & Shape of Girls

July 28: Girls: Best Friends Forever-ish

August 4: Girl on Girl Action: Girls and the Female Gaze

August 11: Girls on Boys: The Body Politic of Goddess Feminism

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Lena Dunham is probably the one girl in the bunch with the least famous parentage. Nevertheless, she’s super-sensitive to the criticism that HBO’s Girls stars four white girls with super-privileged entertainment industry backgrounds:

“The whole ‘kids of famous people’ dialogue…that is one that I really can attribute to jealousy. Because, why else would anyone say that? Why else would you be so horrified by the children of creative people continuing on to do creative endeavors, unless you felt that there was something you were owed that you weren’t getting that they were getting.”

Her sharp commentary came off as rather, well, “Republican” in this era of entitlement. It also smacks of sheer blindness when it comes to the relationship between audience and auteur. What is it that we the people demand of our entertainment gods and goddesses? And why? After all, thousands of teachers are the children of teachers, as are lawyers, doctors, firemen, and policemen. In fact, inheriting your parents’ profession is nothing new. So, why are celebrities held to a different standard when it comes to making it big in their field?

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This topic is personal for my family; my daughter is an actress and faced with an uphill struggle with NO networking advantages whatsoever. IMO, the complaint is valid - that once someone is established in an elite field like showbiz, he can establish a Noble House in which his children (provided they aren't utterly lazy and/or stupid) can inherit the equivalent of lands and title - but the racial aspect that so exercises the self-righteous lefties is a red herring. The proof of that in two words: Jaden Smith. QED.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
With most of our 'gods and goddesses', talent is only skin deep. In our society, as in olden times, fame is an inherited 'right'.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
When asked a question on politics, the great actor Gary Cooper's response was , "Why are you asking me? I'm just an actor." Such humility is gone in our society. These actors nowadays believe the illusions they create on the "big screen" are really them in real life. And they know better than the average fool on topics like politics and society. And these average fools suck it all in and continue to pay big bucks to see these actors and actresses create illusions on the "big screen."
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
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