Lena Dunham Is Done With Photoshop & Probably Not For The Reason You Think
Sometimes, while crusading against societal pressures and norms, you just need to take some time to fight for yourself. One woman who is doing just this is Lena Dunham, who is taking a stand against photoshop, as she explained in the March 8 edition of Lenny Letter. But she isn't doing this in the name of you or me or to make a grand statement that exists outside of her. No, it's for Dunham herself. While the actor/writer/director has spoken out on the issue of body image and body positivity in the past, and in some instances, used her body as the vehicle to do so, this particular instance is much more personal. But, rest assured, it is just as inspiring.
Dunham is not immune to the seductive nature of social media. In her Lenny Letter essay, she explains that while surfing through Instagram:
Which is actually nothing too scandalous, right? Well, not exactly. Because as innocent as that may sound, it's indicative of a much broader issue. One that Dunham says Zendaya, Kate Winslet, and Jamie Lee Curtis for called out before she ever did.
The Girls star goes on to explain:
And coming to the realization that she had been continually marketed as someone she is not, completely unsettled her.
Despite being assured her that her body wasn't photoshopped, she believes that the picture was altered "somewhere between raw digital file and Spanish glory." But that was almost a non-issue for her, because as she says, she "didn’t have any interest in shaming or blaming anyone in the process." Dunham expressed that the "real issue" here is that "I don’t recognize my own f*cking body anymore. And that’s a problem."
She opened up about how she knows her pictures in other magazines are photoshopped regularly and how she has just learned to accept it. In fact, she even explains that she wasn't exactly against some of the photoshopping, either. To which I say, hey, we're all human. I use that Instagram lighting tool to my advantage more than I care to admit. In fact, I'm fairly certain even my high school senior portrait was cleared of "imperfections." But while an occasional "improvement" to an Instagram selfie is one thing, having your image altered over and over again is another thing entirely. You lose your sense of self.
She cheekily notes that she is a "ham" and that being "done" doesn't mean not doing photo shoots any longer; it means that she wants to "pick her own thigh out of a lineup:"
Perhaps this particular battle that Dunham chose to fight was self-centered, but that doesn't mean it's selfish. Her feelings and grievances as an individual matter. Dunham's chutzpah to own her body as is, perhaps to her own professional detriment, sets a greater movement in motion. Through this self-reflection, she has helped progress a greater cause. Her standing with and supporting other actors who have taken this stand before her, shows that this trend of exposing and refusing photoshop is snowballing, and that there's a possibility for real change.