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8 Inspiring Quotes That Capture Why We Love Lena Dunham

Lena Dunham, champion of self-acceptance, turns 31 on Saturday. The actress, writer, and creator of Girls never shies away from an opportunity to advocate for body positivity and mental health. So to celebrate her big day, we've rounded up a few of Dunham's most inspiring quotes: Below are eight times she got real about the life-changing power of exercise, good health care, and not giving "even the tiniest of sh*ts" what others think about her body.

On the importance of health care

"Good health care has allowed me to conquer physical and mental illness and continue to work, to express myself, to enjoy life even when it had all the makings of a bleak month or year. I am f*cking lucky. Luck, in the form of health coverage—that's a huge roadblock sitting in the way of so many American women conquering their lives."—Lenny Letter, May 2017

On the therapeutic power of exercise

“To those struggling with anxiety, OCD, depression: I know it's mad annoying when people tell you to exercise, and it took me about 16 medicated years to listen. I'm glad I did. It ain't about the ass, it's about the brain.” —Instagram, April 2015

RELATED: 15 Inspiring Things Celebrities Have Said About Dealing With Anxiety

On her childhood

“My parents both have really healthy attitudes about their own bodies but also about the range of things that can be beautiful. But they also just always made me feel pretty and cool and smart, even in the moments when I have known–and still know– that my body wasn’t fitting into a traditional Hollywood idea of the female body." —Playboy, April 2013

On the pressure to be perfect

“Let’s get something straight: I didn’t hate what I looked like—I hated the culture that was telling me to hate it." —Glamour, January 2017

On the value of self-care

"I am certainly no self-help guru but here is what I know tonight: when you take the time and space you need, kindly and responsibly, you're suddenly available to the people you love in a whole new way." —Instagram, September 2015

RELATED: The Best Advice From the Happiest People on the Planet

On Hollywood’s crazy beauty standards

"I don’t feel like my work is dependent on my size. I feel like my work is dependent on the fact that I’m an everywoman. I’d be an everywoman if I lost 20 pounds or if I gained 50 pounds, because of my attitude and it’s my relationship to the world and the fact that like I have two front teeth that are bigger than the rest of my teeth." —Time, April 2012

On photo retouching

"Not done with getting my picture taken (once an insufferable ham, always an insufferable ham) but done with allowing images that retouch and reconfigure my face and body to be released into the world." —Lenny Letter, March 2016

On loving her body

"I feel I've made it pretty clear over the years that I don't give even the tiniest of sh*ts what anyone else feels about my body. I've gone on red carpets in couture as a size 14. I've done sex scenes days after surgery, mottled with scars. I've accepted that my body is an ever changing organism, not a fixed entity—what goes up must come down and vice versa. I smile just as wide no matter my current size because I'm proud of what this body has seen and done and represented. Chronic illness sufferer. Body-shaming vigilante. Sexual assault survivor. Raging hottie. Just like all of YOU." —Instagram, March 2017

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