One week after Lena Dunham accused a Spanish magazine for retouching their cover image of her, which the magazine denied, the actress posted an article to state that she was “done” with Photoshopped images.
“Something snapped when I saw that Spanish cover,” she wrote in Lenny, a feminist newsletter she co-founded with Jenni Konner. “Maybe it was the feeling of barely recognizing myself and then being told it was 100 percent me but knowing it probably wasn’t and studying the picture closely for clues. Maybe it was realizing that was an image I had at some point seen, approved, and most likely loved. Maybe it was the fact that I no longer understand what my own thighs look like. But I knew that I was done.”
Last week, Dunham said she found a picture of her on her Instagram feed from a Spanish magazine cover, in which she didn’t recognize herself: “My chin was strong and defined, practically another continent from my neck, and my legs and arms were lean and milky white instead of their usual mottled pink.”
She called out the magazine, El Pais, on Instagram, stating that “this is NOT what my body has ever looked like or will ever look like – the magazine has done more than the average photoshop.” The magazine was quick to defend itself, stating that they hadn’t retouched the image and had simply gotten it from the photographer.
While she wasn’t embarrassed about the interaction, Dunham realized that the problem stemmed from something deeper: “I don’t recognize my own f-cking body anymore. And that’s a problem.” This is why, she claimed, she is done with retouching.
“[I’m] not done with getting my picture taken (once an insufferable ham, always an insufferable ham) but The gap between what I believe and what I allow to be done to my image has to close now,” Dunham continued in Lenny. “If that means no more fashion-magazine covers, so be it. I respect the people who create those magazines and the job they have to do. I thank them for letting me make a few appearances and for making me feel gorgeous along the way. But I bid farewell to an era when my body was fair game.”
“This body is the only one I have,” she wrote. “I love it for what it’s given me. I hate it for what it’s denied me. And now, without further ado, I want to be able to pick my own thigh out of a lineup.”