Lena Dunham: What Jezebel Did 'Felt Gross'

Says Jezebel made 'monumental error' asking for unretouched 'Vogue' photos
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 21, 2014 10:51 AM CST
Lena Dunham during the 'Girls' panel discussion at the 2014 Winter Television Critics Association tour in Pasadena.   (Photo by Richard Shotwell Invision/AP)

(Newser) – Kanye West wasn't the only person unhappy with Lena Dunham's Vogue cover: Last month, after the cover was revealed, Jezebel offered $10,000 to anyone willing to hand over unretouched photos from the shoot. The images were served up the very next day, to much backlash from Jezebel commenters (a sample comment blasted the site as "mean and petty"), and now Dunham herself has weighed in. In an interview with Grantland posted yesterday, Dunham says she found the whole thing "messed up" and that "it felt gross"—and was "a monumental error in [Jezebel's] approach to feminism," E! reports.

Ultimately, comparing the images showed that little retouching was done—a fact that Jezebel writer Jessica Coen acknowledged, saying, "While Dunham has not been radically Photoshopped, it's clearer than ever what kind of woman Vogue finds Vogue-worthy: the taller, longer-limbed, svelter version of reality." That wasn't a good enough explanation for Dunham: "Instead of saying, 'Hey, we kind of f---ed up. These pictures aren't that retouched. Lena, enjoy the Vogue spread you've been excited about since you were 8 years old,' [Jezebel] was like: 'She's not retouched, but she could have been,'" Dunham explains. "It was this weird almost like political maneuvering that I just had a lot of trouble respecting." Full interview here.

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