Imagine this: Fabulous photos of you appear in Vogue, and you’re super excited about the world seeing your major magazine cover. Then, a different magazine offers up $10,000 for unretouched photos from your issue of Vogue, because there’s no possible way you actually look that good.
Pretty humiliating, huh? But Lena Dunham, the genius behind Girls, lived it when Jezebel posted an expose detailing every change that had been made in the photos — and as it turns out, nothing major about Lena was changed.
So what does Lena have to say about it? “That was messed up,” the 27-year-old actress said in a recent interview. “I think Jezebel is really smart and funny, I think it’s just like once you’ve been attacked that way it’s hard to enjoy. It’s hard to enjoy once you feel like they’ve made such a monumental error in their approach to feminism.”
“I can’t be half in,” Lena continued. “It felt gross … I was kind of scared to see the unretouched images of me. I was like, ‘Maybe I’m delusional in this and I don’t look how I think I look.’”
But fortunately, once Lena was able to see the un-Photoshopped photos, she realized it was no big deal — only tiny, routine editing moves had been made, like removing smile lines and even reducing the number of polka dots in a top she was wearing.
“It was the most minimal retouching,” Lena said. “I felt like, ‘Thank you for removing the one line from my face because I’m 27 years old and shouldn’t have that there. I appreciate this.’”
And as for Jezebel? Lena’s less than impressed with the way they chose to handle their surprise at how little the images had been altered.
“Instead of saying, ‘Hey, we kind of f—d up these pictures that aren’t retouched. Lena, enjoy the Vogue spread you’ve been excited about since you were eight years old,’ [Jezebel] was like, ‘She’s not retouched, but she could have been,’” Lena said. “It was this weird almost like political maneuvering that I had a lot of trouble respecting.”