There’s a real movement gaining traction around the rejection of society’s impossible beauty standards. We’ve seen debates over the term ‘plus-size’, increasing numbers of brands finally recognising that there is more than one skin tone, and photography projects celebrating different body shapes.
Now, Lena Dunham and her Girls co-star, Jemima Kirke, have posed for a lingerie campaign in the name of body positivity.
New Zealand-based underwear brand, Lonely Lingerie, cites its core values as celebrating “the strength and individuality of women” through the creation of lingerie, swimwear and clothing that “embraces and empowers them”.
The brand’s website says that it takes primary inspiration from the women themselves, and prioritises comfort and the fostering of “positive body image and freedom of expression”.
As part of its advertising, brand founder Helene Morris launched the Lonely Girls Project, which seeks to avoid the usual advertising techniques (read: impossibly perfect, then airbrushed models in scenarios any normal woman would never find themselves in, in their underwear).
Described as a series that “features candid portraits of inspiring women in their natural environments wearing Lonely in their own way”, the campaign has recruited women from around the world, and photographed them with no retouching.
While Dunham and Kirke are no strangers to getting naked in front of the lens (Girls sees them both strip down, and Dunham regularly celebrates her body on her personal Instagram account), the shoot is the first of its kind for them.
In one shot, the pair are seen lounging around in a New York bathroom in lace, pastel-coloured lingerie. Dunham is sat on the bath with her back rounded, legs resting on Kirke’s right thigh as she sits on a nearby chair.
Both women reveal their natural bodies, complete with stomach rolls and exposed nipples – ie the real female form.
The only make-up the pair wear is a bold and fierce slick of red lipstick as they stare into the camera’s lens.
In another image, the pair wear black lingerie and have their hair scraped back in buns, while Kirke applies Dunham’s lipstick like two women getting ready before a night out.
The accompanying press release says that the images aspire to “showcase women wearing underwear in a way that we usually don’t see in mainstream advertising and the media.
“Instead of being objectified, the women who participate in these campaigns – in this case, Lena and Jemima – are empowered and exhibit real beauty that will hopefully help women everywhere feel a little more liberated.”