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18 January 2014

RANSOMING LENA.



I dislike photoshop. I dislike it for all the reasons one should dislike it: it promotes negative body image by throwing unrealistic expectations in the direction of, well, everyone (because men aren’t excluded from it either), it encourages impressionable girls with eating disorders, it generally makes everyone feel shit and quite sad about their thighs. But, from a selfish perspective, it also pisses me off because to be honest I’d quite like someone to edit all my pictures, only no one will and so my Facebook timeline is littered with highly attractive gurns, double chins and what is, according to one particular friend’s camera, almost grey skin (new year, new batch of St Tropez to work through.). But I’m not a model. I’m not an actress or a singer (I am an excellent singer, I just keep it on the down low), I’m not anyone of any consequence or fame. Thankfully for the world as a whole, my mug is not plastered anywhere and I’m not likely to be approached by any high fashion magazines for a photoshoot any time soon (ever. Any time ever.).


I was pleasantly surprised to see Vogue were actually pretty restrained with their Lena editing. Not because the initial photos were bad, not at all, Lena’s a revoltingly pretty woman - but because, you know, it’s Vogue. Vogue is a fantasy. Once you’ve leafed through the first twenty pages of glossy adverts your expectations can’t possibly be, “Hmmm, now time for some real life shit!”. It’s Vogue, guys. Those glossy pages symbolise their glossing over of anything even approaching the realistic. Vogue’s contents are supposed to be largely unattainable for 99.9% of the population of the world - it’s four sodding quid an issue, for fuck’s sake - and so you can’t expect to find reality. It’s harsh, but it’s true. The people who work for that magazine are only concerned with making everything as beautiful as possible (and thus keeping their revenue in check.).


What Jezebel did by offering 10K for the untouched photos of Lena Dunham was, in my opinion, more damaging and shallow than the slight hoisting that Vogue did to Lena’s frame. I struggle to understand how a supposedly feminist website thought this was even close to appropriate. Were they trying to drag her down, or simply reclaim her from Vogue? Did they genuinely not realise how truly ridiculous and misogynistic they were being, by essentially pointing in the direction of Dunham (who’s probably had enough of comments about her body to last a lifetime by now) and screaming “Look at her body, everyone! Cultivate this unhealthy obsession you have with her arse! Come on! She can’t possibly photograph that well!”. Well, turns out she does. Poor show, Jezebel.





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