Lena Dunham is gracing the cover of Marie Claire’s October issue, and as Joanna Rafael so accurately put it, the photo looks like she’s saying: “Look how sexy I look making fun of sexy women.”
She’s not a model, so I can’t fault her for not knowing how to mug for the camera. I am curious, however, as to which art director thought an awkward, partially-open mouthed and dead-eyed photo would nail it for their cover. The general consensus here at The Gloss is that Dunham is quite pretty and has a very expressive face, but apparently some photographer instructed her to go for “smoldering, dead fish.”
Not surprisingly, the magazine is patting themselves on the back for featuring a “diverse”-looking model on its cover, by which they mean not stick thin. Of course, their idea of diversity includes a white, exceptionally privileged, successful creative-type, so I feel like they should stop trumpeting the diversity angle on this one.
In Marie Claire‘s promotion of the issue, they released the following, body-oriented Dunham quote:
“I do think it takes fashion magazines a minute to be comfortable with variations of any kind. Adele is one of the most beautiful women in the world, but every time I see her on the cover, it’s like a crop of her face and it’s just so boring at this point. It’s such a boring conversation.”
What’s funny is that now we’re having that conversation.
That being said, Dunham of course benefits off of them pointing out that she’s not model-thin (they veil it in a self-important illuminating conversation about body image), because she’s made a career off of this exact conversation. I’m not going to mince words about this. I really dislike Lena Dunham‘s whole shtick of making herself into a hero for her unprecedented bravery of existing with a body that looks pretty damn normal. Every time she or someone else makes a statement about how brave it is for her to show her body, it reinforces the message that her body is wrong. It’s something that has to be normalized, because it is inherently bad. I’m all for exposing the public to multiple body types, but in my personal opinion, Dunham’s method of doing it sets us back.
Also, didn’t Marie Claire basically crop most of her body out, as well? Good job, Marie Claire. You’re so brave.