Renowned advocate for being comfortable in your own skin, Lena Dunham, took to Instagram to blast Tentaciones, a monthly supplement of the Madrid-based newspaper El País, for allegedly photo-shopping her cover photo.
But as it turns out, they didn’t.
Dunham posted the cover photo to her 2.4 million followers, saying “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?”
Oh hello El Pais! I am genuinely honored to be on your cover and so happy you licensed a pic by @ruvenafanador, who always makes me feel gorgeous. 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? Much love, Lena. credit to @peguerillo_ for this of a
But in an open letter to Dunham published on El País’ website on Tuesday, the magazine clarified, explaining the only editing it did was to crop the original photo, taken by Ruven Afanador for Entertainment Weekly in 2013, as it was licensed through the Corbis agency.
“Of course, we are aware that any media outlet needs to be responsible for what it publishes, but this photo was previously approved by the agency, the photographer and your publicist … we used the original that they sent us without applying any kind of retouching,” the title wrote.
“Those who are familiar with and follow our magazine will know that we do not use Photoshop nor other digital tools to change the physical appearance of our cover stars, nor in the features to be found inside. On this occasion, the only thing we did was to crop the image to adapt it to the format of our front page.”
It even compared its own mag cover to that of Entertainment Weekly, pointing out that no retouching had occurred, although why a magazine is using three year old photos on its cover is beyond us.
Dunham posted an apology post to Instagram, saying “it’s a weird feeling to see a photo and not know if it’s your own body anymore”.
Hey Tentaciones- thank you for sending the uncropped image (note to the confused: not unretouched, uncropped!) and for being so good natured about my request for accuracy. 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 (and I’m pretty sure that will never be my thigh width but I honestly can’t tell what’s been slimmed and what hasn’t.) I’m not blaming anyone (y’know, except society at large.) 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, 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. With endless love, Lena PS I’d love the Tentaciones subscription I was offered!
A photo posted by Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) on
She also didn’t say no to the offer of a free subscription to Tentaciones, before following up with anoth Instagram post supporting access to safe and legal abortion in time for Super Tuesday.
“But seriously my photoshopped legs don’t matter, cuz it’s Super Tuesday and this is happening,” she wrote.