Lena Dunham apologises after false claims that magazine used "mad Photoshop"

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Hayley Spencer
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UPDATE: Lena Dunham has apologised to Spanish magazine Tentaciones after she called it out for what she described as "mad Photoshop" on its cover image of her.

Lena has responded after the publication wrote an open letter explaining that while it is "responsible for what it publishes", the cover image was unretouched by themselves. It explains that the photo was cropped to fit its cover following approval from multiple parties connected to Dunham including the image's photographer, Ruven Afanador, and her publicist.

The writer also offers Lena a free subscription, complementing her "rebellious spirit" and offering for her "to see for yourself that we like to reflect things the way that they really are."

In a second Instagram of the cover, Lena has made a gracious apology.

A long-term campaigner for positive body image, she blamed "society at large" for her issue with the cover, and explained that her reaction was the result of her "long and complicated history with retouching."

Oh, and she's also accepted the subscription, calling Tentaciones a "cool Spanish Magazine."

She wrote:

"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!"

Previously we wrote:

Lena Dunham is famously outspoken, especially on the topic of body image and her desire to help women accept their natural form.

So it's no surprise she has made a very public objection to the Spanish newspaper supplement heavily Photoshopped her on their cover.

Dunham published a photo of Tentaciones (Temptations) magazine's cover, exposing their use of what she described as "mad Photoshop" and called for them to be "honest" with their readers.

Alongside the cover, which features a photo first used in Entertainment Weekly back in 2012, she wrote: “Oh hello Spanish magazine Tentaciones! I am genuinely honored to be on your cover and so happy you used a pic by @ruvenafanador – he always makes me feel gorgeous.

“But this is not what my body has ever looked like or will ever look like – mad photoshop has been done to this iteration. So if you’re into what I do, why not be honest with your readers?

“Much love, Lena.”

The GIRLS creator's fans clearly have her back, as the post has received over 37,000 likes so far.

Dunham is no stranger to a debate over Photoshopped images - she was previously forced to defend her 2014 Vogue cover shoot after unretouched versions of the photoshoot emerged highlighting the changes. However the issue in this instance is of consent - the changes were made without Dunham's say-so and she feels that the magazine has changed her body to an extent she feels no longer represents her true self.

The actress and writer recently spoke out about feeling body confident to Paper Magazine, outlining how she doesn't have an "interest in changing [what she looks like] unless it's on my own terms."

"All the characters I play always dress like they're a size 0 when they're actually a size 10," she explained. "Some might call it 'delusional' and I like to think about it as this sort of rocket confidence that's a little unearned but better than the opposite.

"I think that it was important to me also to announce that 'this is what I look like. I don't have an interest in changing unless it's on my own terms' – I won't say I'll never lose weight in my life, but it'd have to be for reasons that made sense to me and weren't to try to meet some industry standard."

An hour before the Tentaciones cover post, Dunham shared a selfie on the topic of confidence, captioned: "As I grow older I become more comfortable with who I am."


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Hayley Spencer