Lena Dunham Calls Out Jezebel for Publishing Unretouched Vogue Photos

Image: Lena Dunham Calls Out Jezebel for Publishing Unretouched Vogue Photos

Friday, 21 Feb 2014 12:27 PM

By Clyde Hughes

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Lena Dunham, star of the HBO hit series "Girls," took the website Jezebel to task for offering $10,000 for and then publishing unretouched photos from her Vogue shoot that appeared in fashion magazine's February issue.

Speaking to Bill Simmons on Grantland's "B.S. Report," Dunham called Jezebel's decision to go after her unretouched photos a "monumental error."

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"That was messed up," Dunham, 27, said to Simmons in the interview posted Thursday. "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. It's hard to enjoy once you feel like they've made such a monumental error in their approach to feminism."

Jessica Coen said on Jezebel that Dunham was not the website's target but Vogue for creating unrealistic beauty images for the average woman and believed Dunham was fine without the retouching.

"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," Coen wrote. "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."

Ellen Dockterman of Time magazine wrote that Dunham has shown off her body in numerous episodes of "Girls," so there was nothing to hide and believed the website's efforts backfired.

"Jezebel's agenda was tentative to begin with: Vogue's job is to sell a certain image of beauty," Dockterman wrote. "Any celebrity gracing the cover of Vogue — tall, short, fat, thin — can expect to be retouched. But — as they themselves noted — Dunham's body is on full display on HBO every Sunday night, which made the stunt seem pointless; they didn't need to provide that public service of revealing Dunham's true figure to the public.

"The site's big reveal wouldn't have made waves, but the $10,000 offer did (just as the same gambit did in 2007 when the site offered a cash reward for Faith Hill’s unretouched Redbook cover)," Dockterman continued.

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