TMN Weekender

Human Behavior

Two articles floated across my screen in the past week making arguments that seemed at once blindingly obvious and also completely necessary.

Over at Vulture, Brian McGreevy pleads with Girls fans (and critics) to stop calling Lena Dunham “brave” for daring to appear en deshabille onscreen despite her clinically average BMI, as if being an actress seeking attention were anything new. Likewise, at Slate, William Saletan argued that one big reason Oscar Pistorius isn’t being treated like O.J. Simpson—another elite athlete implicated in the murder of his lover—is because he runs on prosthetic legs, which have been too often confused by the public for a halo. Because Dunham looks like more women than most Hollywood actresses do, it’s easy to assume she has the same self-critical feelings about her body that “normal” women do. And because Pistorius overcame a major physical challenge, it’s tempting to assume he also managed to conquer every moral and psychological challenge he might have faced.

In that spirit of subverted expectations (and yes, I’m kind of reaching this week) here are four stories about how our assumptions and the world don’t always line up. Ready to read here on TMN or in an e-book you can export to your Kindle, iPad, iPhone, etc.