Amelia and Leandra Compete Against Each Other in: The Lena Dunham Diet

And it was arduous, but it was worth it


At the start of May 22nd, year 2015, Lena Dunham posted to Instagram a screen shot from her iPhone notepad featuring a list of summer to do’s. In it she — you know what, let me just upload it here for you to peruse at your leisure.

urgent action items

A post shared by Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) on

That was easier to consume, right? So easy, in fact, that maybe you felt like you should take upon yourself some of her #goals. When I, for two, acknowledged the cumbersome but admirable list of potential achievements, I knew I had to try this lifestyle —a diet by the rules of Man Repeller; attempting to befriend Drake, give money to people who need it, take money from people who are susceptible to giving it to women and grow the fuq out of my body hairs like they are chia pets and I? I am Juice Press.

So for the past week, Amelia and I have been doing just that. All of it (except the ovary clause because I’m having period issues that could use your help if yours, like, has taken an unexpected sabbatical?). The recap below.

Leandra: The week of July 20th was an interesting one. I was to fulfill two ten-hour shoots with self tanner (Charlotte Tilbury’s “Supermodel Body”) carefully lathered from the knee down among sprouting hair in the same region. I was luckily placed in a position where there were dogs and there were cameras and there was, incidentally a basketball court that I did not get to walk through but that I did get to look at while thinking about dogs and posing for a camera which I would say successfully fulfilled clause C. Wouldn’t you?


Moving on.

This diet helped me to realize that laser technology is not for everyone. My armpits are bare. More naked than a newborn. This was not the case in 2005 when I was just getting comfortable with my version of the 5 o’clock shadow but you know what happened to that totem of womanhood? Laser. And I can’t take it back.


But! I made up for my pits with my legs, which to me is like 15x the victory because the region is larger and there is self tanner involved.



And I didn’t get free iced tea or a basketball jersey by way of feminine powers but by crying about my ovulation woes (not with tears, but with biting, manipulative words) I did get very fancy tickets to a Yankee game that I believe accommodated the sports clause mentioned in item D and a free ride on a ferry from Manhattan to Rumson plus cheap white wine.


You know what they say about white wine, right? It’s better than an iced tea refill and also you might need a therapist.


Oh! I also used my powers to get an APPLE WATCH! So that seems like a double win. I did not activate it because I’m thinking through the implications of how this watch can and will be my version of a “status watch.” (When I wear it, do people assume I run a VC-backed start up?)


Finally, I tweeted at Drake about getting involved in a charity I am running called Started from The Bottom, Still at The Bottom: How to Feel Good About Failure. He did not show interest in getting involved but I countered this tweet with another about love, see:


And a third about how naturally beautiful I am:


I’m not sure if he knows we are meant-2-b but I’m sure that if he were just to read this, that could change. And you know what they say about estimation, right?


I have never heard any single saying about estimation.

Conclusion: if you’re looking for a good time with a girl who has hairy legs. understands the merits of good self-tanner, free ferry rides and has a yet-to-be-activated Apple Watch, I win and Amelia loses.

Here is a gratutious selfie whereby I turn those perverse feminine powers on their head.


Rosie Assoulin jacket, Everlane shirt, Rachel Comey pants, Saint Laurent bow tie and jazz shoes

Just stop reading now.

Amelia: It turns out that no one notices when you forgo armpit shaving for a week. I brought it up a few times in sort of an apologetic manner, and though I suppose this makes me a bad feminist (who apologizes for hair?!) it mostly makes me a bad customer: my local barista politely advised that I either stop notifying her of the mild change in centimeter or she would have me permanently removed from the facility.


Where I excelled, of course, was in the tanning. I’m a faux-bronze professional so highly skilled in my craft that on at least two occasions I have been asked by bodybuilders if I wouldn’t mind “doing their backs.” Here’s the secret: you need an application mitt.

But here’s where I cheated: I did my whole body. HBO contract or not, Lena Dunham, I simply do not see the point in sending only half of my legs on vacation.



Part of this diet is to ensure my ovaries are working smoothly. That seems like it should be part of every diet, and I assure you the answer is yes: I stopped typing at night with my laptop on my lower belly and assigned a task manager to supervise my uterine lining.

(In the name of “sportsmanship,” however, I forfeit this round.)

“Loads of charity.” Loads is dramatic, but I actually did some. Or step one of some, at least, and registered for New York Cares. (It’s a great program. Learn more here.)


Per Lena’s instructions, I used my feminine powers to get stuff I want. Un-per her, I used them to get alcoholic beverages and pizza as opposed to iced tea and basketball jerseys. I also hardly think this has anything to do with me but rather, the strong leadership qualities of the aforementioned Uterus Task Manager. Yelp reviews don’t lie!


Third on Lena’s list was, “Walk the dog through a group of cool dudes playing basketball and see what happens.”


Guess what, Andy Cohen? Nothing happened. People just sort of stared at me until I got to the other side.

Win, but zzz.

Like a true procrastinator, I saved the hardest for last: “Meet Drake and get a compliment.”

If there’s anything I’ve learned from my ovaries’ career coach, it’s that actions really do speak louder than words:

Conclusion: I win. And if I’ve learned anything from Lena, it’s that her diet is far more enjoyable than Atkins.

Photo by Terry Richardson for V Magazine



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  • Allie Fasanella

    this was perfection

    • Amanda White
    • Allie! Congrats on getting a job offer on this comment! You win!

      • Allie Fasanella

        thank you mia! tbh it feels totally called for.

  • Allie Fasanella

    can’t stop with the now and then gifs. they’re too perf

  • Olivia_Reagan

    Nice To Do List! 🙂 Love it

    Baanou Team

  • Lua Jane

    This was absolutelly great! Might actually try Lena’s diet my self, minus Drake part, because, obviously it’s unattainable. It would however be awesome if Drake would turn out to be a Man Repeller fan.

  • Alba B.

    Leandra, where is Apple Watch at the final selfie picture?!!!
    Great post to feel free on expressing feelings. Even-though I tweeted Yo @leandramedine love you. Do you love me? Not ashamed to express them here as well.

  • I keep accidentally growing out my armpit hair through laziness, and yesterday I went to McDonald’s to get free WiFi (and chips) and the guy gave me a free cup. Call me Lena!

  • samhallie

    lol at your vid amelia

  • defggghh

    < I just agree… HOTPAM `s remark is something… on thursday I got a top of the range GMC when I got my check for $9311 this last 5 weeks an would you believe ten k lass monthwithout a doubt it is the most-comfortable work I've had . I actually started 6 months ago and straight away began to make minimum $78.. per/hr . read this post here►

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  • Hahaha I love this!

  • patricia1

    1=22Now Get this advantage

  • Leandra, I love you.
    And oh god, my laptop is on my lower belly right now.

  • Hannah R

    serious input on the menstrual sabbatical: traditional Chinese herbs + acupuncture. mine disappeared for 18 months till I found an eastern medicine doctor to recommend daily concoctions that tasted like molasses & dirt. icky but effective.

    • Leandra Medine


      • Hannah R

        drank the ick twice a day for like 8 weeks + acupuncture 3 times. womanhood ever since.

        • Leandra Medine

          acupuncture 3x all in or 3x a week?

          • Hannah R

            my bad – that was confusing. 3x total.

            be warned: when it did come back, I got pregnant 3 months later. hah. good luck! xo

          • First, congrats. Also, I think you’re onto something with the acupuncture. A friend of mine tried to get pregnant for EIGHT years, did acupuncture like twice and poof, she got pregnant. Acupuncture is crazy!

      • E

        Try an Ayurvedic medicine called Ashokarishta by Baidyanath. It works–I got mine after a year-long sabbatical–and I believe it’s available on amazon.

    • Possibly a damn good placebo effect (or whatever) — the vileness of the drink probably persuaded you body to get rolling again or continue to suffer. It’s as good a theory as any…

  • Amelia wins!

  • madmaeve

    Walking your dog through a basketball game is just RUDE af. But so is Dunham, soooo…. maybe don’t take to-do cues from her -____-

  • beccamu

    “Started from The Bottom, Still at The Bottom: How to Feel Good About Failure” 10/10 would read this in the form of a self-help book