Lena Dunham talks $10k 'unretouched' Vogue photo controversy
"Girls" creator and star Lena Dunham took to Twitter to respond to a controversy involving the photos from her recent Vogue shoot.
The blog Jezebel offered a $10,000 reward (Warning: post contains explicit language) on Thursday, Jan. 16, to anyone who could provide them with "unretouched" versions of the photos used in Dunham's spread and cover of Vogue's February issue. The website often highlights photos that have been digitally altered by programs such as Photoshop that result in celebrities looking disfigured or looking significantly slimmer.
"Lena Dunham is a woman who trumpets body positivity, who's unabashedly feminist, who has said that her naked body is 'a realistic expression of what it's like to be alive' and 'if you are not into me, that's your problem,'" a line from the blog post requesting the photos reads. "Her body is real. She is real. And for as lovely as the Vogue pictures are, they're probably not terribly real."
"This is about Vogue, and what Vogue decides to do with a specific woman who has very publicly stated that she's fine just the way she is, and the world needs to get on board with that," the post continues. "Just how resistant is Vogue to that idea? Unaltered images will tell."
Dunham, 27, initially discussed the Jezebel post on Thursday, Jan. 16, when New Yorker TV Critic Emily Nussbaum tweeted, "If Dunham wanted to release her own retouched photos, that might be interesting. Asking for a bounty on them? GROSS."
Dunham responded to Nussbaum and wrote, "10k? Give it to charity then just order HBO."
She then wrote (Warning: link contains an expletive), "Some [expletive] is just too ridiculous to engage. Let's use our energy wisely, 2014."
On Friday, Jan. 17, Jezebel posted several "unretouched" photos (Warning: post comments contain explicit language) from Dunham's spread in Vogue, using .gif images to show the before and after. The site noted that they received the photos within two hours of their initial post.
One photo shows Dunham on a street in New York City and the site claimed that the pigeon standing on Dunham's head was actually a stock image. However, Vogue posted a photo on their Instagram account on Friday which proved that Dunham actually had a bird on her head during the shoot.
According to Slate, Dunham talked about her Vogue cover shoot at length to their Paris website on Friday. However, she did not mention the Jezebel post.
"I know that I felt really like Vogue supported me and wanted to put a depiction of me on the cover. I never felt bullied into anything," Dunham said according to Slate. "I felt really happy because they dressed me and styled me in a way that really reflects who I am. And I felt that was very lucky and that all the editors understood my persona, my creativity and who I am."
"I haven't been keeping track of all the reactions, but I know some people have been very angry about the cover and that confuses me a little," she added. "I don't understand why, Photoshop or no, having a woman who is different than the typical Vogue cover girl, could be a bad thing."