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Image / Editorial

The Importance And Perfection Of Lena Dunham’s Imperfect Thighs


by Niamh ODonoghue
05th Jan 2017
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Before the year ended, we talked about some of the trends that we expected to continue seeing going forward in the fashion and beauty industry. Photoshopping is?a main contender, as the fashion market strides incessantly towards reaching unrealistic levels of perfection.

But then this happened. Glamour Magazine unveiled their upcoming Feb issue featuring the cast of Girls looking, well, glamorous, and very natural. So natural, in fact, that we see Dunham sporting one accessory that normally hides from cover shoots: cellulite.

I know it’s kind of counterproductive to draw attention to it, but it is a big deal for media – fashion magazines in particular – to acknowledge that real bodies (cellulite, lumps and bumps included) are glamorous; especially when we live in such a damaging world and where ‘filters’ are becoming so much of a norm that it’s becoming hard to tell whether your friend is the same person post Instagram’selfie.

We shouldn’t be surprised to see real women in a fashion magazine but we are; which is the sad part.

Dunham herself took to social media to post a deeply personal message about the importance of the shoot, of being imperfect and the emotional and physical hurt she felt as a young woman for looking different to other women.

“Throughout my teens, I was told, in no uncertain terms, that I was funny looking. Potbelly, rabbit teeth, knock knees — I could never seem to get it right and it haunted my every move,” she writes. “I posed as the sassy confident one, secretly horrified and hurt by careless comments and hostility. Let’s get something straight: I didn’t hate what I looked like — I hated the culture that was telling me to hate it.”

It’s giving us all the right feels.

Okay, here goes: throughout my teens I was told, in no uncertain terms, that I was fucking funny looking. Potbelly, rabbit teeth, knock knees- I could never seem to get it right and it haunted my every move. I posed as the sassy confident one, secretly horrified and hurt by careless comments and hostility. Let’s get something straight: I didn’t hate what I looked like- I hated the culture that was telling me to hate it. When my career started, some people celebrated my look but always through the lens of “isn’t she brave? Isn’t it such a bold move to show THAT body on TV?” Then there were the legions of trolls who made high school teasing look like a damned joke with the violent threats they heaped on, the sickening insults that made me ache for teen girls like me who might be reading my comments. Well, today this body is on the cover of a magazine that millions of women will read, without photoshop, my thigh on full imperfect display. Whether you agree with my politics, like my show or connect to what I do, it doesn’t matter- my body isn’t fair game. No one’s is, no matter their size, color, gender identity, and there’s a place for us all in popular culture to be recognized as beautiful. Haters are gonna have to get more intellectual and creative with their disses in 2017 because none of us are going to be scared into muumuus by faceless basement dwellers, or cruel blogs, or even our partners and friends. Thank you to the women in Hollywood (and on Instagram!) leading the way, inspiring and normalizing the female form in EVERY form, and thank you to @glamourmag for letting my cellulite do the damn thing on news stands everywhere today ?? Love you all.

A photo posted by Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) on

The cover, featuring?HBO co-stars Allison Williams, Zosia Mamet, Jemima Kirke, and Lena, is in conjunction with Glamour’s ‘body issue’, and it’s a step forward – a ginormous leap even – in portraying women as they really are with no photo manipulation.

In the era of the filter, be unfiltered! We’re hopeful that this is the start of something great for publishing and photo manipulation, and grateful for perfectly imperfect women like Lena. Let’s continue 2017 as Glamour have started, shall we?

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