Feb 20, 2014
Lena Dunham Hated the Jezebel/Vogue Stunt Just As Much As We Did
Remember that time when Jezebel put out a $10,000 bounty for unretouched photos of Lena Dunham’s Vogue photo shoot? And remember how the whole Internet basically erupted because while there is nothing inherently wrong with wanting to expose the Photoshop jobs which fashion magazines perform on celebrities (especially women!), there is something definitely wrong with specifically targeting perhaps the one celebrity who has demonstrated throughout her career that she is perfectly willing to use her physicality to challenge our society’s current definitions of what constitutes female beauty? And remember how Jezebel claimed to be doing it all in the name of feminism? And remember how, once they got the photos, it turned out not very much retouching had been done at all, but Jezebel would just not back the fuck down? Oh, man. Remember that? Those were not good times.
Well, back in those times, the whole situation might have set off a thousand different think pieces, but Dunham herself was mostly silent about the issue. And even when an episode of her show Girls aired (which, obviously, had been filmed long before the whole retouching debacle had occurred) in which Dunham’s character Hannah commended Jezebel for being a “a place where feminists can go to support one another which we need in this modern world full of slut-shaming,” Dunham declined to truly comment on the matter, except to say that her praise of Jezebel had “obviously been sarcastic.”
But now, in an interview with Bill Simmons of Grantland, Dunham finally speaks out about the issue, saying, “It felt gross.” Dunham expands on that, acknowledging that while she doesn’t hate, you know, everything about Jezebel, she also won’t visit the site again, saying “it’s hard to enjoy, once you feel like they’ve made such a monumental error in their approach to feminism…It was the most minimal retouching. I felt completely respected by Vogue. Instead of going, Hey, we kind of fucked up—these pictures are not that retouched, [Jezebel was] like she’s not retouched, but she could have been … It was this weird political maneuvering that I couldn’t respect.”
We couldn’t agree more.
Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen
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