Around Town: Lena Dunham Eats a Sandwich


t’s the lunch that has America talking a bunch! “Girls” creator and star Lena Dunham was spotted eating a turkey sandwich on a bench in Brooklyn last Tuesday, instantly sparking a nationwide debate over modern femininity, sandwiches, and media depictions of women eating sandwiches!

Both fans and critics of Dunham took to the Internet to voice their opinions on the sandwich-eating after photos of Dunham eating the sandwich were first posted on! “As a 24-year-old woman, Lena eating that sandwich rings so true to me,” wrote one commenter. “I’ve eaten turkey sandwiches just like that. As soon as I saw those sandwich photos, I thought, “She gets it.’”


In a six-page article about the afternoon snack in this week’s New Yorker magazine, culture critic Alexandra Lange says Dunham “captures an entire generation’s experience of eating sandwiches ... from the anxieties about dripping mustard and getting crumbs down one’s shirt to the confusing, chaotic ecstasy of that first bite containing a slice of pickle.” The Los Angeles Times called Dunham’s decision to eat a turkey sandwich “revolutionary” and “a striking symbol of how far women have come in terms of eating sandwiches, freedom, and lunch in general.”

But for all the praise she’s receiving, Dunham is also facing heated backlash on the sandwich issue. “Dunham apparently feels almost pathologically compelled to shove her sandwich choices in our faces, whether we like that kind of sandwich or not,” wrote Sean Daly in the New York Post. And in the National Review Online, Betsy Woodrfuff writes, “At the end of the day, Dunham is just another rich white girl eating a turkey sandwich. The sandwich did not even look very good.”

Love her or hate her, Lena will be part of the national dialogue for a long time to come. Since the sandwich-eating occurred, the wunderkind already has stirred up several more controversies: By sneezing once, by looking at a bird, and by eating a different kind of sandwich the day after eating the first sandwich! 


This article was originally published February 2013