Lena Dunham Opens Up: The 10 Women Who Changed Her Life
1. SHERYL SANDBERG
COO of Facebook
"With Lean In, Sheryl gave women a constructive guide for pushing feminism into the work space. She also has the glossiest hair; she's like the Connie Britton of the tech world."
2. AUDRE LORDE
Poet and activist
"Audre fought for equality from the sixties until her death, in 1992. Her quotes have the power to pull me up out of bed."
3. SHIRLEY KURATA
"It took me a long time to find the people in Hollywood who understand me. Shirley and I share a sense that clothes are about more than looking sexy: They're about humor and cultural commentary, and color, color, color."
4. JENNI KONNER
Co-executive producer of Girls
"Jenni and I started a production company founded on our belief that there aren't enough projects reexamining gender in interesting ways. It seems like she's been my best friend since kindergarten. If she doesn't text me for an hour, I think she's dead."
5. CECE McDONALD
"When CeCe was violently attacked for being trans, she fought back, but then she was put in prison for 19 months. CeCe turned that injustice into advocacy for thetranscommunity. Watch her on YouTube—such poise and comic timing."
6. MEGAN ELLISON
"Megan produces daring stories that don't feature superheroes or dumb girlfriends. Having a dear friend who is my age, female, and owns Hollywood like she's Don Corleone has been more life-affirming than I can say."
7. ASHLEY FORD
"Ashley and I fell in love via social media, and then she flew from Indiana to meet me. We were both convinced we were being catfished. Now Ashley writes for BuzzFeed, and everyone can read her pieces about gender, race, and Kenny Loggins."
8. RHEANNE WHITE
"Rheanne is a close friend, an amazing mother, and treats hair like it should be treated: as self-expression and fun."
9. SHONDA RHIMES
Producer of Scandal and Grey's Anatomy
"Shonda has taken over a full freaking day of the week with her addictive programming. She's done it unapologetically. And Scandal has made wine and popcorn seem like a viable, even healthful, meal."
10. AUDREY GELMAN, JOANA AVILLEZ & ISABEL HALLEY
Political strategist, illustrator, and artist, respectively
"My three oldest friends: Audrey, who makes the workings of city government appear sexy; Joana, whose work is both whimsical and hip; and Isabel, whose ceramics are the perfect accents for a table. I'm counting them as one dame because together we are a unit."
Dunham is the creator of HBO's Girls and author of Not That Kind of Girl.
Photo: Lena Dunham poses for a portrait at Sundance for her upcoming documentary, It's Me, Hilary: The Man Who Drew Eloise