Lena Dunham apologises after accusing Spanish magazine El Pais of photoshopping her image

El Pais denies altering the image after it was bought for use from a photo agency

Lena Dunham has apologised to a Spanish magazine after claiming it photoshopped her image on its front cover. 

The Girls star accused the El Pias supplement Tentaciones of “more than the average photoshop” after using her image on its cover. In an Instagram post, Dunham insisted her body had never looked like it does in the photo and demanded the magazine “be honest” with its readers. 

But a spokesperson for El Pais denied altering her image in any way except to crop it. In an open letter, El Pais said it never manipulates the images of models on the cover or on the pages of the magazine. El País said the image taken by photographer Ruven Afanador was originally used on the cover of Entertainment Weekly in 2013 and bought by the Corbis photo agency - after being approved by Dunham’s publicist.

“Of course, we are aware that any media outlet needs to be responsible for what it publishes, but this photo was previously approved by the agency, the photographer and your publicist,” it said. "Here you can see the original photo that was shared at the time by the photographer Ruven Afanador on his Facebook page, and below, the cover of Tentaciones. As you can see, the image is exactly the same."

Lena responded to the open letter in a second Instagram post on Tuesday evening. 

“Hey Tentaciones - thank you for sending the uncropped image (note to the confused: not unretouched, uncropped!) and for being so good natured about my request for accuracy. I understand that a whole bunch of people approved this photo before it got to you - and why wouldn't they? I look great. 

“But it's a weird feeling to see a photo and not know if it's your own body anymore (and I'm pretty sure that will never be my thigh width but I honestly can't tell what's been slimmed and what hasn't.) I'm not blaming anyone (y'know, except society at large.) I have a long and complicated history with retouching. I wanna live in this wild world and play the game and get my work seen, and I also want to be honest about who I am and what I stand for. 

“Maybe it's turning 30. Maybe it's seeing my candidate of choice get bashed as much for having a normal woman's body as she is for her policies. Maybe it's getting sick and realising ALL that matters is that this body work, not that it be milky white and slim. But I want something different now. Thanks for helping me figure that out and sorry to make you the problem, you cool Spanish magazine you. Time to get to the bottom of this in a bigger way. Time to walk the talk.” 

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She also accepted El Pais’s offer of a free monthly subscription.