You don’t need to be a Love Island fan to appreciate Lena Dunham’s essay on it

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Hollie Richardson
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Lena Dunham Guardian essay on Love Island

Lena Dunham has penned an essay on Love Island, and how it has helped her process an emotional breakup. 

Actor, writer and director Lena Dunham is currently living in Wales. Swapping the buzz of New York for the rolling hills of Wales might seem a surprising decision, but the Girls creator relocated for the summer to film her new HBO series, Industry

Fans who follow Dunham on social media will know that she’s living her best life in Cardiff, taking full advantage of being a Brit for the summer. Now, in a self-penned essay for The Guardian, Dunham has revealed an empowering and relatable reason for staying put in the UK – and why Love Island plays a big part in it.

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After an in-depth – and hilarious! - analysis of the latest series of the reality dating show, Dunham went on to explain how watching it has helped her to get over her breakup with Jack Antonoff and the “explosive and uncomfortable” relationship she experienced afterwards.

“I came to Wales with all my art supplies and no lacy underwear,” she wrote. “I had zero fantasies about summer romance. I hadn’t had sex in seven months so I felt fine about eating all the Welsh cakes.”

She went on to explain how living a quieter pace of life in a house where she can see “fields and fields and fields” outside her window feels like a familiar home to take respite and rebuild in.

“I am asking myself the same questions they ask themselves on Love Island, really,” she continued. “Can you love again after hurt? What does partnership mean? And what does it mean to know someone if you don’t know yourself?”

Dunham ended the essay by candidly writing: “I hope I meet someone who is OK with an infertile, chubby, controlling fantasist who has made a lot of mistakes but can’t stop trying. I hope I can show my children what it means to love with intention, without losing oneself.

“I hope the villa is always full of smiling faces, hopeful hearts, tearful losses and ecstatic gains. I hope we can keep cracking on, into the future for ever. I hope that summer never ends.”

Lena Dunham in Girls
Girls star Lena Dunham wrote an essay on Love Island for The Guardian.

The piece has been so well received on social media that even people who don’t watch the show (or, at least claim not to watch it…) have praised Dunham for her relatable and honest words.

Of course, Love Island isn’t without its contentious issues (gaslighting, lack of body diversity, mental health), but the show does bring discussions about relationships out into the open. The series ends tonight (29 July) but for those of us who won’t be joining a viewing party, Dunham’s essay is well worth reading.

Images: Getty and HBO


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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…

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