Phrase To Retire: “The Voice Of A Generation”

I love Lena Dunham, really I do. But enough already.

Lena Dunham is on the new cover of Entertainment Weekly, with a headline calling her “the voice of a generation.”

Obviously she’s been slapped with that label before — in Glamour:

Dunham was one of the magazine’s “Women of the Year” for 2012.

The Wall Street Journal:

And The Daily Beast:

Not to mention countless smaller outlets. Dunham’s character on Girls, Hannah, says in the first season, “I don’t want to freak you out, but I think I may be the voice of my generation. Or at least a voice. Of a generation.” The line probably helped inspire the onslaught of headlines about how Dunham herself is the voice of a generation — but the media seems to have latched onto the wrong half of the dialogue.

Whether or not Dunham is the voice of her generation, the problem with saying so is that this doesn’t seem to be the point the show makes at all. The show is about a generation addicted to the internet and social media, tools that allow everyone to have a voice in a generation. Which is the only reason Hannah thinks she’s a somebody (or is going to be a somebody very shortly) to begin with — anybody with a Twitter account or a Tumblr is the voice of something these days.

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