Feminist blog Jezebel offered a $10,000 bounty in exchange for the unretouched versions of the “Girls” star’s photos on Thursday (Jan. 16), and within two hours, received six allegedly unaltered images.
In her initial post, editor Jessica Coen writes, “Lena Dunham is a woman who trumpets body positivity, who’s unabashedly feminist, who has said that her naked body is ‘a realistic expression of what it’s like to be alive’ and ‘if you are not into me, that’s your problem.’ Her body is real. She is real. And for as lovely as the Vogue pictures are, they’re probably not terribly real.”
Coen is quick to point out that this is not about wanting to see what Dunham “really looks like” since “we can see that every Sunday night,” but more specifically about Vogue itself and how they treat women who appear in their magazine.
After receiving the unedited photos, Coen writes on Friday: “As expected, they’re great — Lena looks fantastic. Aside from the obvious lighting tweaks that any publication would make, the unretouched images are pretty perfect. Which makes some of the adjustments — slightly narrowing a jaw or raising a waistline — seem that much more unnecessary. Why bother? These slight tweaks, the ‘you look great, but you’d look just a little more great if…’ stuff is insidious.”
Before the unaltered photographs were published, Dunham tweeted, replying to The New Yorker’s TV critic Emily Nussbaum, “10k? Give it to charity then just order HBO.”
She followed that up a clearer portrait of her feelings, writing, “Some s*** is just too ridiculous to engage. Let’s use our energy wisely, 2014.”