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Lena Dunham just taught us an important message about being “too much”

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Kayleigh Dray
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“At 32, I weight the most I ever have… and I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.”

From Jennifer Aniston, to Renee Zellweger, to Claudia Winkleman, it’s no secret that women in the public eye constantly find themselves under pressure to look a certain way. However, things are slowly starting to change… and for the better. Jameela Jamil’s I Weigh campaign is actively encouraging women to “not give a f**k” about what the bathroom scales say, and now Lena Dunham has taken to Instagram to share her own thoughts on weight gain and loss, too.

Sharing a photo of herself in her underwear, Dunham captioned the post: “I’ve spent a lot of time in this life feeling like too much. Too hungry. Too anxious. Too loud. Too needy. Too sick. Too dramatic. Too honest. Too sexy (jk lol).

“I was always sent the message, in insidious ways, that I took up too much room and demanded too much from life and sometimes gave too much to people who didn’t want any at all.”

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Dunham continued: “But something has changed, and it started when I realised: I don’t have to be *for* everybody, and that for the right people, my too much is just enough.

My ‘too much’ also means I have room for their too much and we can take turns too muching all over each other.”

The Girls creator finished by saying: “At 32, I weigh the most I ever have. I love the most I ever have. I read and write and laugh the most I ever have. And I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. Not the frail, precarious happiness of ‘things are going perfectly.’ The big, generous, jiggly happiness of ‘I think I’m finally starting to get the hang of this.’

“Not too much… Just enough.”

The post has, at the time of this article’s publication, received almost 209,000 likes (and counting).

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Of course, this is not the first time that Dunham has spoken about the media’s obsession with her size. In 2017, she shared a lengthy Instagram post, in which she addressed everyone who dared to publish an article on her “weight loss transformation”.

“I feel I’ve made it pretty clear over the years that I don’t give even the tiniest of s**ts what anyone else feels about my body,” she said.

“I’ve gone on red carpets in couture as a size 14. I’ve done sex scenes days after surgery, mottled with scars. I’ve accepted that my body is an ever changing organism, not a fixed entity - what goes up must come down and vice versa.

“I smile just as wide no matter my current size because I’m proud of what this body has seen and done and represented. Chronic illness sufferer. Body-shaming vigilante. Sexual assault survivor. Raging hottie. Just like all of YOU.”

Dunham added: “Right now I’m struggling to control my endometriosis through a healthy diet and exercise. So my weight loss isn’t a triumph and it also isn’t some sign I’ve finally given in to the voices of trolls. Because my body belongs to ME – at every phase, in every iteration, and whatever I’m doing with it. I’m not handing in my feminist card to anyone.”

The real-life Hannah Horvath went on to praise her friends who ’”demand that life be more than a daily weigh in”, adding: “I refuse to celebrate these bulls**t before-and-after pictures. Don’t we have infinitely more pressing news to attend to?”

Dunham finished by writing: “So much love to all my web friends who demand that life be more than a daily weigh in, who know their merit has nothing to do with their size, who fight to be seen and heard and accepted. I love you.”

Hear, hear!

Image: Getty

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is editor of Stylist.co.uk, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends. 

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