Why Hannah’s pregnancy on Girls is blowing my mind

Hannah, the ultimate selfish 20-something, chooses to give up her solo story for an unplanned baby.

click to enlarge HBO Promotional photos http://www.hbo.com/girls - http://www.hbo.com/girls/episodes/6/7-the-bounce/slideshow/ep-59.html?autoplay=true&index=5
HBO Promotional photos http://www.hbo.com/girls

I’ve watched Girls since it’s premiere in 2012. Back then, I was 25 and the same age as Lena Dunham’s character, Hannah, and I really connected with her. It was one of those characters you find yourself meeting either on the page or the screen and their voice feels like your own.

I’ve drifted back and forth with Girls, which at times has slightly lost my confidence when it veered too far into the “look-at-me-and-my-self-inflicted-problems” category. However this final season grabbed me again as I find myself deeply connecting once more with Hannah.

 At the beginning of the season, Hannah hooked up with a surfing instructor she met while on assignment for her new magazine job.  This beach side stoner, Paul-Louis, played wonderfully by The Night Of alumni Riz Ahmed, gets Hannah pregnant which is revealed to viewers in the following episode.

Girls centered the second episode of the series on a character’s abortion appointment and has never shied away from saying what they want to say, unplanned pregnancies included. Which is why it threw me for a loop when Hannah decided – almost instantly – to keep the baby.

Hannah who is a hugely selfish character makes the most selfless decision: have a baby she didn’t plan on. She chooses herself over and over again and is now making the choice to put herself second even as her friends tell her it’s a bad idea and quite frankly, it’s making me feel like a shitty person.

A kitten’s breath away from 30 it would be ridiculous to say that I’ve never entertained the idea of having kids. But honestly, that’s as far as it goes…entertained.  Every time I think seriously about having kids the same argument goes through my mind which is some version of: I love my life the way it is now and I don’t know if I want to change it. I love binge-watching Netflix shows, going to basketball games, getting drunk at a bar and taking an Uber home — all of which would have to be altered to allow for a baby.

Girls has often held a mirror up to the millennial generation, showing both promise and flaws and this story arch continues to do just that. If this innately selfish character can chose to have a baby even when those closest to her have encouraged her to not to, what the shit is wrong with me? Is there something innately selfish in choosing not to have a baby? Or is it just knowing what’s best for you?

So many women I know who have kids were just aching to be a parent and mostly what I see is how much day care would cost. Which leads me to my question: is Hannah truly doing something selfless and wonderful? Or is she just naïve to the true commitment of having a baby?

Only three episodes left until the final credits roll and I for one am completely invested in seeing the end play out. 


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Toni Jannel

Toni's a true Tampa native, equal parts Italian and Cuban — she's practically an ad for Ybor City. She's a USF graduate and a genuine enthusiast for anything with a script.

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