Millennial's do more than Instagram their bellybuttons: Let's talk Lenny
Ask us about a mother’s hidden abortion during a time women did not have a choice, Hillary Clinton’s favorite shoulder dress or what feminism actually means.
Did you care to ask? Are you curious? We are. Let’s talk about Lenny.
Selfishness, and a larger lack of interest in responsibility or hard work, are words that cling on to millennials giving this generation a stink so bad, even Clint Eastwood took time from running a small empire to let us know we are the pussy generation.
Lenny was born from two creative millennial souls, one of which is arguably the quintessential representation of our outcasted group and possibly even the voice of our generation. On September 29th, Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner released their first letter to a robust audience of mostly young women.
Admittedly, Dunham and Konner have more of an opportunity for exposure than most. GIRLS is an HBO phenomenon. We’re all tuning in one maladjusted-young-adult adventure at a time. But Lenny still feels refreshing and genuine in its aim to flip the millennial script and show the Eastwoods of the world we do more than “Instagram photos of our belly buttons.” We participate, we care, we are present.
Sure, we don’t burn bras, but we do publicly support social causes. In cases like Lenny, we create newsletters to reach people and talk about things like gender equality, sexism, fucking and how to live better. We speak our mind one tweet at a time, and while images of social media feeds may not be as visually impactful as groups of people gathered holding signs, we are sharing free speech in real time. In the digital revolution we’re living in, make no mistake: this is powerful.
As a writer and embracer of free speech online, Lenny strikes a chord. There were many paths an actress starring in a show that has been likened to Sex and the City could have taken. A boho-Goop newsletter hybrid wouldn’t have been a stretch and multitudes of younger fans would have followed. No one would have blamed them, and hell, I’d love to own a Hannah-curated item. Instead, Dunham and Konner wield their influence strategically and begin a newsletter with a movement. That’s sexy and I can get behind it.
You know what’s not sexy? Millennial voting apathy. Lenny unwittingly (and at times obviously) tackles the issue by covering topics that are racy, even taboo, but all have actionable responses. You can’t read Dunham’s interview with Hillary Clinton, who is on full force election mode dropping nuggets of student loan reform between pithy responses, and not feel something. Whether it’s in agreement or not, their letters invite you to take action. As a young woman who pays her taxes and rocks the vote, there’s no other millennialism I’d like to dispel more than this one.
I’ll go ahead and mount my soapbox– just for a second– as I express myself (no selfies necessary). Situations, like seeing Rick Scott elected by a lack of voter turnout, make me feel like the poop emoji on fire 💩🔥. Sure, it may have been the epitome of the lesser of two evils (both candidates were thoughtfully referred to as "Giant Douche Vs Turd Sandwich” care of South Park), but South Florida has a large millennial population rife with strong opinions and a voice. This is just one example (from my hometown) of our generation’s voice being silenced by not showing up.
The crux of the matter is that we have the potential to define this generation as something more than the first wave of social media kids. Lenny’s launch is one voice among many with something to say: we’re here and we can create change.