Apr 27, 2018
What Is Everyone Yelling About Today? Photoshopping Lena Dunham For Vogue Of Course!
Yesterday, Jezebel offered a $10,000 bounty to anyone who would slip them the unretouched photos from Lena Dunham’s Vogue cover shoot. We immediately had to endure a spate of pieces about it ranging from the OMG Photoshop Fail variety to the obligatory feministy thinkpiece about how it was totally a lady-positive act to demand the unretouched pix make it into the wild.
$10,000 is probably a lot of money to some poor person stuck working on the many parts of a cover shoot and so it wasn’t surprising that the unretouched photos were delivered within a day to Jezebel’s door. Breathless! Trembling! Anticipation!
We are Team Meh on this whole kerfluffle. Yes, people get Photoshopped when they have pictures taken for a fancy magazine. Yes, Lena Dunham got her featured sharpened, shaved, defined, softened, lengthened and so on. Yes, this is a bad thing we do to women because it creates unrealistic body expectations. Yes, patriarchy hurts menz too, or whatever we are supposed to say here, because dudes get stuck thinking that they are supposed to have abs like Marky Mark circa Calvin Klein underwear ads.
As far as Photoshop crimes go, Lena Dunham’s retouching was not nearly as egregious as the famous Faith Hill shot where Redbook just stone cold stoled Faith Hill’s arm.
Not only is Faith missing an arm entirely, but her other arm has been shaved down to wasting away from tuberculosis in the 1800s size and would no longer hold up Faith Hill’s body were it actually that size.
By comparison, Dunham’s retouching was pretty standard. Jezebel breaks down the changes to the cover photo.
Eyebrow on the right filled out
Neck made thinner
Head made smaller — so that eyes appear larger
Jawline made narrower
Shoulder on right side of image dropped down — gives the appearance of a longer neck
Some of the dots on the placket of the shirt were removed so as not to interfere with the cover copy — that’s typical and makes sense
Sadly, Jezebel doesn’t appear to have gotten its mitts on the unretouched version of Dunham’s “I’m just almost falling off this here bed in a pose that looks like an elegant car crash victim and also, too, I appear to have lost an arm though not as bad as Faith Hill” picture.
We aren’t having some feminist beauty debate over that picture because we’re too busy wondering what kind of core strength you have to have to NOT fall off the bed in that position. So congrats to you Lena Dunham for doing some crunches to keep those abs working, though you, too, will never have Marky Mark abs because only Marky Mark can.