Lena Dunham: Jezebel’s Unretouched Vogue Expose “Was Messed Up,” “It Felt Gross”

Lena Dunham
Lena Dunham has spoken out once again about Jezebel offering a $10,000 reward for untouched photos from her February 2014 Vogue issue; "[it] was messed up" 

Messing with the wrong girl! Lena Dunham is slamming website Jezebel once again for their “monumental error” in posting unretouched photos of her February 2014 Vogue cover. Last month, the site offered a $10,000 reward to those who could come forward with the unedited snapshots for an expose.

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“That was messed up,” Dunham, 27, told Grantland‘s Bill Simmons in an interview posted Thursday, Feb. 20. “I think Jezebel is really smart and funny, I think it’s just like once you’ve been attacked that way it’s hard to enjoy. It’s hard to enjoy once you feel like they’ve made such a monumental error in their approach to feminism.”

At the time, at least one reader gave in to the site’s request, and hours later six untouched images of the Annie Leibovitz spread went live. Jezebel editor Jessica Coen claimed that they didn’t mean to “shame” the Girls actress with the expose, but the plan ultimately backfired.

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“For me it was just sort of — I can’t be half-in. It felt gross,” Dunham continued. “I didn’t talk to [Coen] who did it directly, but I can’t imagine the reaction made her feel particularly great.”

Dunham had “sympathy” for Coen’s backlash initially, but “once they did post the unretouched images of me that looked so similar — I was kind of scared to see the unretouched images of me,” she continued. “I was like, ‘maybe I’m delusional in this and I don’t look how I think I look.”

Lena Dunham Vogue
Lena Dunham’s February 2014 Vogue issue

The photos turned out to be barely edited, which led Dunham to question why Jezebel didn’t throw in the towel right then and there.

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“It was the most minimal retouching. I felt completely respected by Vogue,” the star told Simmons. “I felt like, ‘thank you for removing the one line from my face because I’m 27 years old and shouldn’t have that there. I appreciate this.'”

She added: “And instead of saying, ‘Hey, we kind of f–ed up these pictures aren’t that retouched, Lena enjoy the Vogue spread you’ve been excited about since you were 8 years old, [Jezebel] was like: ‘She’s not retouched, but she could have been.’ It was this weird almost like political maneuvering that I just had a lot of trouble respecting.”

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