Lena Dunham is not one to shy away from the topic of women's bodies and all the fundamentally flawed ideas that our culture has about it. On Monday, Dunham posted a photo on Instagram calling out Tentaciones magazine for allegedly photoshopping her image on its cover that quickly caught the attention of both her fans and the magazine.
The Spanish magazine, a monthly supplement with Spain's popular newspaper El Pais, had featured her as its cover star using a photo taken in 2013 by photographer Ruven Afanador. Dunham thanked the magazine for putting her on its cover, then added: "BUT This is NOT what my body has ever looked like or will ever look like — the magazine has done more than the average photoshop. So if you're into what I do, why not be honest with your readers?"
The next day, Tentaciones wrote in an open letter that it acquired the 2013 photo unretouched, and that it has a policy of not Photoshopping images of stars on their cover. The letter also included the original uncropped photo of Dunham, which the Girls creator used in another Instagram post to address Tentaciones' response.
"I understand that a whole bunch of people approved this photo before it got to you- and why wouldn't they? I look great. But it's a weird feeling to see a photo and not know if it's your own body anymore," Dunham wrote.
"I have a long and complicated history with retouching. I wanna live in this wild world and play the game and get my work seen, and I also want to be honest about who I am and what I stand for. Maybe it's turning 30. Maybe it's seeing my candidate of choice get bashed as much for having a normal woman's body as she is for her policies. Maybe it's getting sick and realizing ALL that matters is that this body work [sic], not that it be milky white and slim. But I want something different now. Thanks for helping me figure that out and sorry to make you the problem, you cool Spanish magazine you. Time to get to the bottom of this in a bigger way. Time to walk the talk."
Whether or not the magazine did photoshop her image is still up for debate, but it's important that stars — especially stars like Dunham who have significant influence among many young women — call out something she recognized as wrong. She's not the first one to do it by any means, but after years of female stars enduring overzealous Photoshopping, sometimes to the point where they become unrecognizable, it's heartening to see stars voicing their own protests against such practices and regaining control over their own images.