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Gone Photo Shopping

Posted on 21st January 2014

Lena Dunham made the cover of US Vogue. How amazing is that? Anna Wintour is notoriously picky about who goes on the cover of Vogue. She is tiny, get up at 5am to play tennis and is a ruthless editor. Or so I’m told. I don’t know a vast amount about US Vogue for a couple of reasons :
1) I’m from the UK and live there
2) I like fashion but I’m of that part of the population who doesn’t think you should pay the price of a car for a handbag.

I do think that it’s marvellous that Ms Wintour chose to put a funny, non-conformist in the cover. It’s great news for all of us. Look people! Woman who make a living from words are attractive too. One of my main memories of Anna Wintour is that documentary she once did where she is wandering round an art gallery, looking at an exhibition she is curating. She is there, immaculate as usual, with her bob looking perfect and very big, very dark glasses on. She is complaining to the guy in the gallery that everything is "too dark. Way too dark” and no-one has the guts to tell her to take her glasses off.
She normally sticks models on the cover of Vogue. We get the odd actress and I’m not saying modelling is a lesser career – I know these girls work very hard but you can’t work harder at getting more beautiful or striking. You either are, by an accident of birth or you’re not. In the past, Vogue have put Beyonce, Michelle Obama and Adele on the cover. None have caused the furore that Lena Dunham has.
Lena’s first short film was released in 2006 and there was uproar when she made a video at college where she danced in a fountain after stripping to a bikini.
There seems to be some level of shame towards people who take their clothes off and don’t have the body of a super-model. I love it. When you see a baby with no clothes on running along gleefully at the feeling of being free, it’s delightful. There is no judgement. Why would you judge that? Wouldn’t we all love to run free – even for little bit – without worrying about how we look?
Wouldn’t it be great just to enjoy how it feels?
I’m not saying we should view Dunham as a baby, That would be silly. She is a grown woman with a command of the English language that is extraordinary. She strips herself bare by peeling back layer upon layer of her neuroses and we are all fine with that. When she takes her actual clothes off on Girls, questions are raised. I think it’s really healthy to see a variety of different body shapes on the telly. A variety of different body shapes that people still find attractive. Imagine?
The fact that Lena Dunham has made it to the cover of US Vogue is great. Yes they have used a bit of photo-shopping to improve the colour/shot/line of the clothes but lets not forget it’s a fashion magazine. The clothes have to look great. It’s basically a big advert and a wrinkle or a crease in the clothes is going to be "ironed out”.
I am surprised Jezebel put out what is effectively a $10,000 ransom to see the pre-photo-shopped pictures and whilst it would be nice if Vogue didn’t feel the need to alter the photos, it’s not as if it was done on the same scale as Kate Winslet on the cover of GQ is it? Lena Dunham didn’t grow an extra foot or become dramatically thinner, she was tweaked a bit.
I thought she looked great. We need to see a variety of woman looking stunning so we can learn to appreciate how beautiful difference can be.