Lena Dunham Defends New Exercise Regimen: Being Healthy Isn't 'Anti-Feminist'

The writer, producer and actress talks about getting healthy and her love of Eloise

Photo: J. Countess/Getty

Jane Fonda pointed out more than 30 years ago that women can be feminists and into exercise, but Lena Dunham is restating that idea when she talks about her new fitness routine.

“I don’t think anyone’s gonna be like, ‘You look so good it’s ruined my life,’ ” she told PEOPLE of her recent exercise kick. “There’s nothing anti-feminist about being healthy.”

Dunham, 28, was at a special screening at The Plaza Hotel in New York City for the HBO documentary she produced, It’s Me, Hilary.

“I’m just exercising to be a person who will live past 50,” she says. “I’m not like on a crazy diet.”

The author, director and actress told David Letterman last week that part of the reason she wanted to get healthy is because she was losing her breath “after walking up the stairs.”

As far as her work life, Dunham says she wanted to do It’s Me, Hilary, a film about the author and illustrator of the beloved Eloise children’s book series, because she has always been drawn to the character’s self-confidence.

“I think it’s just so formative to see a character that is so independent with that kind of, you know, vision and sense of humor and understanding of herself,” she said.

Though she didn’t grow up as a city child that lived at the Plaza, she was definitely an Eloise-wannabe.

“Trying to be Eloise was just saying ‘rawther’ a lot to my parents and torturing them with fake precocious language,” she said.

“My parents didn’t really let me out of the house alone, I was pretty coddled, so probably reading the Eloise book was my way in,” Dunham added. “In my head, I had a bunch [of adventures], but in reality they were like, ‘You aren’t even allowed to go to the corner store.’ ”

It’s Me, Hilary airs March 23 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.

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