As you may have guessed, I’m a pretty big Lena Dunham fan. I applaud her for taking fashion risks, for being a strong and witty woman, and for handling herself gracefully in the public eye, despite getting constant flak for not conforming to Hollywood’s “beauty standards.” Rumors have been circulating for months about how Anna Wintour has had her sights set on the young writer and actress, and finally, as speculated, Dunham landed the February cover of Vogue.
Although beauty nonconformists and women everywhere cheered, Dunham’s cover shoot and feature was still met with controversy and backlash. For instance, the website Jezebel offered a $10,000 reward for the first person to find the un-retouched shots from the photo shoot, and proceeded to cattily post the “before and after” pictures. Both Dunham and Vogue have given some tactful, classy public responses to the backlash, and as Alyssa Vingan of Fashionista so eloquently puts it, “Jezebel probably knew it was starting a media cat fight of epic proportions, but seemed to have forgotten that Anna Wintour always wins.”
Frankly, Dunham looks beautiful in the photographs for the glossy, and if you’ve seen the “un-retouched” images then I think you’ll agree that she looks pretty spectacular in those ones too. The actress has been very open about her body, and it’s commendable that she is dedicated to portraying and showcasing different kinds of female body types, both on Girls and in her real life. The photographs in Vogue don’t try to hide Dunham’s shape, but rather, play up her quirky, retro-inspired style and playful approach to fashion. Her styling looks wonderful, and her cropped hair is downright enviable. Dunham agrees, explaining, “I felt really happy because they dressed me and styled me in a way that really reflects who I am.”
Of the backlash, Dunham says, “I know some people have been very angry about the cover and that confuses me a little. I don’t understand why, photoshop or not, having a woman who is different than the typical Vogue cover girl, could be a bad thing.”
What do you think about Dunham’s Vogue photo shoot?