Yesterday, the lady blog Jezebel posted that they were willing to pay $10,000 for unretouched photos from Lena Dunham’s Vogue cover shoot, writing:
Our desire to see these images pre-Photoshop is not about seeing what Dunham herself “really” looks like; we can see that every Sunday night or with a cursory Google search. She’s everywhere. We already know what her body looks like. There’s nothing to shame here. Nor is this rooted in criticism of Dunham for working with Vogue. Entertainment is a business, after all, and Vogue brings a level of exposure that exceeds that of HBO. This is about Vogue, and what Vogue decides to do with a specific woman who has very publicly stated that she’s fine just the way she is, and the world needs to get on board with that. Just how resistant is Vogue to that idea? Unaltered images will tell.
Today, Jezebel has posted those unretouched images, which they said they received within two hours of their original post. The comparisons between the altered and unaltered images are so unremarkable, I’m almost surprised Jezebel posted them. I say “almost” because I’m assuming they had to fork over the promised $10K and likely want to get their money’s worth — in traffic if not in impact. The unaltered images are unremarkable in that they show what we already know — that Vogue Photoshopped Lena Dunham’s photos just as they Photoshop every photo in the magazine. But — and this probably came as a bit of bummer to Jez, considering how much dough they spent — the before and after shots of Dunham are not all that different, and are certainly not an example of the egregious retouching they no doubt hoped for. In fact, the biggest differences between the original photos and the ones that ran in the magazine have little to do with Dunham at all. Keep reading »