There has been much controversy over the use of heavy photoshopping in fashion publications and advertisements over the years, with the latest taken form in positive body image spokesperson and feminist, Lena Dunham. The Girls creator and actress embraces her non-traditional-lead-actress-having curves often appearing nude in the show’s episodes inspiring an entire gneration of “girls” to realize that there is more than one acceptable definition of beauty. So it’s no suprise then the outrage in response to Dunham’s much hyped appearance on the cover of US Vogue magazine. Vogue did what Vogue does. They cropped her body off the cover and heavily altered her less than svelte frame on the photos that appear inside the magazine.
But wait! Did they really? To get to the bottom of this, Jezebel.com notoriously offered a $10,000 bounty for the the unretouched photos from the shoot. Below are some of the photo comparisons on the Jezebel site.
Although, I have to be honest in that I am not understanding the source of the moral outrage. Lena is still Lena here rocking all her curves and her tattoos – and looking absolutely fashionable and stylish – so other than not having a complete body shot of Dunham on the cover, I am not faulting Vogue for doing what any reputable photographer would do to clean up photos after a shoot. There are many times when Vogue actually deserves the criticism heaped upon them, but in this instance, it’s much ado about nothing.
But it seems that those who are used to criticizing everything always need to have a reason to criticize. Speaking of which – Lena Dunham gets a lot of criticism for all of the nudity she displays on Girls, but I wonder how much less it would be if her body more resembled that of Gisele Bundchen or Scarlett Johansson than humpty dumpty. I am not hating on skinny girls in the least…in fact, I actually adore both Gisele and ScarJo, and think Humpty got a tough break (see what I did there), but it is refreshing to see someone who may not be traditionally referred to as beautiful have enough confidence in herself to keep it real.
And Just in case, you have no idea of who or what I am referencing, here is a sneak peek of the the premier episode of Girls! Enjoy!
–Marie Louise Ferguson