“This is NOT what my body has ever looked like or will ever look like.”
As writer-director-actress Lena Dunham’s HBO show, Girls, enters its fifth season, her groundbreaking character, Hannah, is still unabashedly Hannah. In the first episode of the new season, Hannah shows up at her best friend’s wedding with a cropped haircut, deconstructs her bridesmaid dress, and proves she has yet to master the art of armpit shaving. Like her TV alter ego, Dunham hasn’t given in to Hollywood’s idea of femininity. Today, she struck out at Spanish magazine Tentaciones for photoshopping her photo on its cover.
Tentaciones (“Temptations”) is a monthly supplement that accompanies Spain’s popular newspaper El Pais. Dunham took to Instagram to point out that the picture of her was digitally altered. “This is NOT what my body has ever looked like or will ever look like—the magazine has done more than the average photoshop,” she wrote. “So if you’re into what I do, why not be honest with your readers?”
After hearing Dunham’s criticism, Tentaciones released another photo of Dunham to prove they hadn’t committed any wrongdoing. “Those who know us and follow our magazine know that we do not use Photoshop or other digital tools to change the appearance of people who are on our cover or inside the magazine,” the magazine wrote. But Dunham, knowing what her body looks like, said on Instagram, “Thank you for sending the uncropped image (note to the confused: not unretouched, uncropped!) and for being so good natured about my request for accuracy ... I’m not blaming anyone (y’know, except society at large.) I have a long and complicated history with retouching. I wanna live in this wild world and play the game and get my work seen, and I also want to be honest about who I am and what I stand for.”
Although Tentaciones may not have retouched the image, it appears that it was altered somewhere down the line. Regardless, Dunham’s tenacity on the issue of photoshopping female bodies is commendable. The more people in the public eye who take publishers to task for altering images of female bodies, the less likely they’ll be to employ digital trickery in the future.