Lena Dunham Graciously Scolded Magazine For Photoshop Fail
Regardless of where you stand on the show Girls or Lena Dunham’s work and persona in general, it’s undeniable that she’s good at standing her ground and speaking up when she feels misrepresented, so it’s no surprise that when the Spanish-language publication Tentaciones heavily photo-shopped her cover photo, she took to Instagram to speak up.
The original photo taken by photographer Ruven Alfador is lovely, so when Tentaciones took liberties by slimming her figure and transforming her skin into a poreless mask, she wrote them a gentle-but-firm response expressing her discomfort.
“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.”
Well-spoken and non-combative, she continued in a follow up post:
“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 gap but I honestly can’t tell what’s been slimmed and what hasn’t.) 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.”
She managed to do a great job addressing the problem straight-on while still recognizing how entrenched it is in media and photography practice in general. To that, I lift my glass in solidarity.