Lena Dunham Rips Jezebel for Publishing Her Un-Retouched Vogue Photos: ‘That Was Messed Up’

In an interview with Grantland’s Bill Simmons, the “Girls” doyenne struck back at the feminist blog

Lena Dunham fired back at Jezebel for posting un-retouched photos from her Vogue shoot, calling it “messed up” and “gross.”

“I think Jezebel is really smart and funny, I think it’s just like once you’ve been attacked that way it’s hard to enjoy,” she said in an interview with Bill Simmons that was posted Thursday on Grantland. “It’s hard to enjoy once you feel like they’ve made such a monumental error in their approach to feminism.”

Also read: Judd Apatow and Lena Dunham Get Mad at Me For Asking Why She’s Naked So Much on ‘Girls’

Simmons had made a funny non sequitur about the controversial feminist blog, which invited Dunham to criticize their article on her Photoshopped pictures.

“I like Jezebel, by the way,” Simmons acknowledged.

“Do you?!” Dunham asked incredulously.

“I didn’t like what they did to you,” Simmons backtracked.

Also read: Lena Dunham Bares All On Instagram With New Book Cover (Photo)

“It felt gross,” Dunham said.

Jezebel offered $10,000 for unretouched images of Dunham from Annie Leibovitz’s photography session and later published the before-and-after shots. Jezebel editor Jessica Coen argued why she published them as a criticism of the fashion magazine world:

While Dunham has not been radically Photoshopped, it’s clearer than ever what kind of woman Vogue finds Vogue-worthy: The taller, longer-limbed, svelter version of reality. Vogue is not interested in reality, of course. The photographs are meant to be a fantasy, art. That’s why someone (Ms. Leibovitz?) took the time to Photoshop a pigeon on Dunham’s head — and paste her studio image onto an outdoor background.

 

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“I didn’t talk to the woman who did it directly, but I can’t imagine the reaction made her feel particularly great,” Dunham explained.

Also read: Bill Simmons Apologizes for Grantland Story Outing Transgender; Could Face Legal Action

Simmons defended Jezebel, saying when you’re putting up so much content it’s easy to make mistakes.

“I was kind of scared to see the un-retouched images of me, I was like, maybe I’m delusional and I don’t look how I think I look.  And it was like –they smoothed a line here, and shaved a line on my neck. It was the most minimal retouching. I felt completely respected by Vogue. I felt like thank you for removing the one line from my face because I’m 27 years old and shouldn’t have that there,” she continued. “I appreciate this and instead of going like ‘hey we kind f*cked up, these pictures aren’t that retouched, Lena, enjoy the Vogue spread that you’ve been excited about since you were eight years old.’ They were like, ‘she’s not retouched, but she could’ve been. ‘ It was this weird almost political maneuvering that I just had a lot of trouble respecting.”