In the newest tale of white-woman woe, Lena Dunham projected all her insecurities onto Odell Beckham Jr. The Girls creator took all her self-loathing and placed it on the New York Giants star receiver. In an interview with comedian Amy Schumer in Dunham’s weekly newsletter, Lenny, Dunham claimed that Beckham looked her over and decided that she wasn’t worth having sex with, so he ignored her and played with his phone.
“I was sitting next to Odell Beckham Jr., and it was so amazing because it was like he looked at me and he determined I was not the shape of a woman by his standards,” Dunham says.
“He was like, ‘That’s a marshmallow. That’s a child. That’s a dog.’ It wasn’t mean—he just seemed confused. … The vibe was very much like … ‘Is it wearing a … yep, it’s wearing a tuxedo. I’m going to go back to my cell phone.’ It was like we were forced to be together, and he literally was scrolling Instagram rather than have to look at a woman in a bow tie. I was like, ‘This should be called the Metropolitan Museum of Getting Rejected by Athletes.’”
Keep in mind, Dunham never noted that she spoke with Beckham. So Beckham never actually objectified her at all. He didn’t call her a “marshmallow” or a “child” or a “dog.” Dunham simply read Beckham’s mind and was able to interpret all of this from their noninteraction.
Since Dunham was able to interpret all of this from Beckham playing in his phone, we here at The Root would like to take a stab at the top 10 reasons Beckham ignored Dunham.
1. He didn't know who she was.
I know that's a tough one for Dunham to swallow, but it might be possible that Beckham had no clue who the hell Dunham was—nor did he have to.
2. Did we mention he didn't know who she was?
Had Dunham walked into the Met Gala wearing a sign saying, "Hey, I'm Lena Dunham," I still don't know if Beckham would have known who the hell she was.
3. He’s never watched Girls.
I don’t know if there are two more diametrically opposed forces than the NFL and Girls, a show about 20-somethings living in New York.
4. She didn’t introduce herself along with a photo of a Girls DVD box gift set.
Not sure if this would’ve helped, but she could’ve tried.
5. Maybe he did watch Girls and realized how much Dunham loves black people.
The biggest criticism of the show, set in Brooklyn, N.Y., has been the absence of black people. Not just as main characters, but even in the background. Black people not only aren’t of interest in Dunham’s New York—they don’t even live there.
6. Maybe he was a huge Lena Dunham fan until he read her book and got weirded out.
In Dunham’s memoir, Not that Kind of Girl, she describes in detail how at 7 she began a very invasive kind of sexual exploration with her one-year sister that included opening her vagina and paying her sister with candy for long mouth kisses. She also noted that when she was 17, she would lie in the bed next to her prepubescent sister and masturbate.
7. Maybe he was busy playing Pokémon Go?
That s—t is like crack. Think about it—he’s at the Met Gala and he’s fast. If everyone else is busy schmoozing and Beckham stays focused, he could clean up.
8. Maybe he didn’t want to get to know Dunham.
The most telling part of Dunham’s passage is that she actually believed that Beckham looked her over. The privilege in her passage is breathtaking. Not because he wouldn’t have but that he absolutely must have. This feeds into a plethora of black male sexual stereotypes and white women as desired objects—even when they are ignored.
9. He’s not some dude from the corner who hollers at every woman under 40 he sees.
I know there is a belief that all black men catcall women, but Beckham isn’t that dude. The sad part is that even with his status and prestige, Dunham objectified him and reduced him to street-corner status.
10. Black male interest in white women (any white woman) is greatly overstated and exaggerated.
Seriously, not all black men want a fat white woman.
Stephen A. Crockett Jr. is a senior editor at The Root. Follow him on Twitter.