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Lena Dunham’s latest Instagram post is a masterclass in the power of self-acceptance

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Lauren Geall
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Lena Dunham

The Girls creator took to Instagram to respond to comments made about her body after she shared photographs from her wedding last week.

From her words on the reality of dealing with long Covid to her speech about navigating rehab and recovery, you can always count on Lena Dunham to share how she’s really feeling. And her latest Instagram post is certainly no exception.

Sharing what she’s been up to since her marriage to musician Luis Felber last week, Dunham spoke openly about some of the body-shaming comments she’s received after posting photos from her wedding day – and reminded us all about how important self-acceptance really is. 

“One narrative I take issue with, largely because it’s a story I don’t want other women, other people, to get lodged in their heads, is that I should somehow be ashamed because my body has changed since I was last on television,” Dunham wrote.

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“Firstly, ‘Did Lena eat the cast of Girls’ just isn’t a very good joke – I could punch that up for the Tweeter. Secondly, it’s ironic to have my body compared to a body that was also the subject of public scorn – an echo chamber of body shaming. 

“But lastly, when will we learn to stop equating thinness with health/happiness?” 

Going on to highlight how weight gain is often just as much a sign of happiness and a positive change in habits as weight loss, Dunham spoke about how her life has changed since she last appeared on screen, and shared how grateful she was for the changes that have occurred in her body.

“The pics I’m being compared to are from when I was in active addiction with undiagnosed illness,” she explained. “In the 4 years since I’ve gotten sober and begun my life as someone who aspires toward health and not just achievement. These changes have allowed me to be the kind of sister/friend/daughter that I want to be and yes – meet my husband (who, by the way, doesn’t recognize me in those old photos because he sees how dimmed my light was.)”  

She continued: “I say this for any other person whose appearance has been changed with time, illness or circumstance – it’s okay to live in your present body without treating it as transitional. I am, and I’m really enjoying it. Love you all.”

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While it’s awful to hear that Dunham is receiving so much body-shaming in the first place, her words about accepting her “present body” are truly powerful.

Despite the pressure diet culture often places on women to treat our bodies like a work in progress, Dunham’s words are a powerful reminder that it’s OK to stop and enjoy your body as it is – and that doing so is often the key to happiness in other areas of your life, too. 

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Lauren Geall

As Stylist’s digital writer, Lauren Geall writes on topics including mental health, wellbeing and work. She’s also a big fan of houseplants and likes to dabble in film and TV from time-to-time.