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Jezebel Pays $10,000 for Unretouched Images from Lena Dunham Vogue Cover Shoot, Dunham Responds

Jezebel Pays $10,000 for Unretouched Images from Lena Dunham Vogue Cover Shoot, Dunham Responds

UPDATED: Lena Dunham has responded to the controversy regarding her recent Vogue cover shoot, which Jezebel called out for being overtly Photoshopped. While in Paris on Friday, she told Slate France:

I know that I felt really like Vogue supported me and wanted to put a depiction of me on the cover. I never felt bullied into anything; I felt really happy because they dressed me and styled me in a way that really reflects who I am. And I felt that was very lucky and that all the editors understood my persona, my creativity and who I am. I haven’t been keeping track of all the reactions, but I know some people have been very angry about the cover and that confuses me a little. I don’t understand why, photoshop or no, having a woman who is different than the typical Vogue cover girl, could be a bad thing.

EARLIER: Yesterday afternoon, hell-raising feminist blog Jezebel offered $10,000 for un-Photoshopped pics from Annie Leibovitz’s Vogue cover shoot of HBOGirls” creator Lena Dunham. And within two hours, via an anonymous source, they got their way. Take a look.

This provocative move on the part of Jezebel illustrates that even a star as no-frills as Lena Dunham, who originally broke ground with her HBO series’ unabashed depiction of everyday female nudity, gets the Photoshop treatment. Nudity on the series was recently targeted by a Wrap reporter at a TCA winter 2014 panel, to the distaste of many including Dunham and “Girls” exec producers Judd Apatow and Jenni Konner.

Jezebel goes on to list the eerie litany of alterations, from a lengthening of the neck, shaved-down shoulder and back, sharpened jawline to narrowed hips and zapped dimples. Editor-in-Chief Jessica Coen shrewdly traces Vogue’s recent history of distorted female bodies, including slimmed down Adele and Lady Gaga, to a plasticine, expressionless Kate Winslet.

Dunham covers February’s issue of Vogue, which arrives January 28. Check out the cover, shot by Annie Leibovitz, and Dunham and costar Adam Driver looking deviantly supine, below. More undoctored Dunham pics here.

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Our culture is sick (burn the witch!)

I have a feeling a lot of Dunham's PR trolls are at work here: but the issue is, why on earth do we demand such unrealistic forms of perfection in pop culture? I personally find the unretouched photo the more interesting of the two.

Ugly Girls Need Love Too

Oh, it's hideous. I'm sorry, but Lena Dunham markets herself as someone who is beyond something like this. Busted!


This is interesting but I'd really love to see some un-retouched photos of Orpah from those magazine covers. That's one crack photoshop team, I can promise you.

Tom Upton

Tempest in a teapot. Vogue sells magazines. To Women. Everyone who appears in a magazine feature is cleaned up in post. Lots of women wear makeup when they go out. Beauty is skin deep. what is your point? Life is a series of cycles. This is about as newsworthy as the last thing Sarah Palin said to the media, and serves the very same function, you are addicted to attention no matter what the cost. Instead of feeding using the internet as a black market for the theft of intellectual property as a gotcha scheme. Why don't you offer us your view of just how Lena should look on Vogue?


From a legal/rights point of view, if the anonymous source did not have a license to sell or distribute the photographs wouldn't that be theft? Also, wouldn't the receipt of stolen ip/images by the magazine in itself be a crime? As well as unauthorized publication. Just curious…. Misappropriating Vogue /Leibovitz images is no small matter. On the other hand, if by design, what a brilliant publicity stunt!


The truth is tough to handle. Dunham will never in a 1000 yrs. look anywhere near like she does on this cover; and she don't seem to mind. Who cares? They photo shop everybody all the time. Even the classic beautiful ones. It's part of the pretense of our popular culture. We live in a false world and most seem to like it that way. See how they scream and defend. She's not a very good looking woman and they made her look a bit better…lol…so what? Like I said, with the good looking ones they make them look even better. Human beings are terrified of themselves and how they look. Especially in the Western hollow popular culture. It ain't pretty.


White feminism strikes again. If these idiots actually cared about women, they could have donated to a women's shelter or any of the millions of other causes that help women in need. But no, they throw away 10,000 dollars to make some kind of half assed point.


Wait, what? Fashion magazines enhance pictures of actresses via Photoshop? Shocker!

It seems incredibly petty and spineless to me that they would scapegoat one actress to prove a point. Dunham has no qualms about letting countless viewers know what she actually looks like au naturel, so I'm sure we can all permit her a moment of glamour when she appears in Vogue, yes?

Nathaniel Poe

Is Lena Dunham irrelevant, yet? Yes? Then why, for the love God, why won't she go away?! "Girls" is the most over-hyped, over-praised, least deserving show on television. The sole reason it even has any notoriety is because Tumblr bloggers — who are barely able to keep their hearts from bleeding out — leaped at the chance to champion ugly girl nudity. Lena, that sound you hear is a stopwatch ticking off the last few seconds of your fifteen minutes.

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