The Girls star, 29, says she's "done with allowing images that retouch and reconfigure my face and body to be released into the world," after she accused Spanish magazine Tenataciones for Photoshopping an image of her for their cover, but later learned that the photo had been retouched before they used it.
Dunham penned an article for her newsletter, Lenny Letter, about the mix-up and why she's refusing to go under the blurring tool.
"Something snapped when I saw that Spanish cover," Dunham writes. "Maybe it was the feeling of barely recognizing myself and then being told it was 100 percent me but knowing it probably wasn't and studying the picture closely for clues. Maybe it was realizing that was an image I had at some point seen, approved, and most likely loved. Maybe it was the fact that I no longer understand what my own thighs look like. But I knew that I was done."
Oh hello El Pais! I am genuinely honored to be on your cover and so happy you licensed a pic by @ruvenafanador, who always makes me feel gorgeous. BUT this is NOT what my body has ever looked like or will ever look like- the magazine has done more than the average photoshop. So if you're into what I do, why not be honest with your readers? Much love, Lena. credit to @peguerillo_ for this of a
"Not done with getting my picture taken (once an insufferable ham, always an insufferable ham) but done with allowing images that retouch and reconfigure my face and body to be released into the world. The gap between what I believe and what I allow to be done to my image has to close now. If that means no more fashion-magazine covers, so be it. I respect the people who create those magazines and the job they have to do. I thank them for letting me make a few appearances and for making me feel gorgeous along the way. But I bid farewell to an era when my body was fair game."
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"So was the image Photoshopped somewhere between raw digital file and Spanish glory? I think so, but who knows and really, who cares. But seeing the photo got me thinking about the real issue, which is that I don't recognize my own f-----g body anymore. And that's a problem."
Hey Tentaciones- 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 understand that a whole bunch of people approved this photo before it got to you- and why wouldn't they? I look great. But it's a weird feeling to see a photo and not know if it's your own body anymore (and I'm pretty sure that will never be my thigh width but I honestly can't tell what's been slimmed and what hasn't.) 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. Maybe it's turning 30. Maybe it's seeing my candidate of choice get bashed as much for having a normal woman's body as she is for her policies. Maybe it's getting sick and realizing ALL that matters is that this body work, not that it be milky white and slim. But I want something different now. Thanks for helping me figure that out and sorry to make you the problem, you cool Spanish magazine you. Time to get to the bottom of this in a bigger way. Time to walk the talk. With endless love, Lena PS I'd love the Tentaciones subscription I was offered!
The writer and actress adds that perhaps her recent health scare – Dunham had emergency surgery Saturday for a ruptured ovarian cyst – made her more protective over the body she's got – flaws and all.
"This body is the only one I have," Dunham says. "I love it for what it's given me. I hate it for what it's denied me. And now, without further ado, I want to be able to pick my own thigh out of a lineup."