Lena Dunham has shared a post about body-shaming after seeing “gnarly” comments about herself online.
The Girls star posted a photo of herself smiling on Instagram today (6 October) accompanied by a lengthy caption addressing the recent harassment she has received on the internet over her appearance.
Dunham began the post by stating she has had a “lovely week” after being married to her new husband, the London-based artist Luis Felber.
“But all of this safety made me forget, for a moment, why I’ve created such intense boundaries with the internet over the past few years,” said the actor.
“It’s a little too easy to feel the glow of support and forget about the cesspool lurking behind it – so I took a peek, and saw some gnarly s***, most not worth responding to or even sharing with you.”
Dunham went on to say there was one “narrative” she wanted to address, however, “because it’s a story I don’t want other women, other people, to get lodged in their heads is that I should somehow be ashamed because my body has changed since I was last on television”.
The 35-year-old continued: “Firstly ‘did Lena eat the cast of Girls’ just isn’t a very good joke – I could punch that up for the Tweeter. Secondly, it’s ironic to have my body compared to a body that was also the subject of public scorn – an echo chamber of body shaming.
“But lastly, when will we learn to stop equating thinness with health/happiness? Of course weight loss can be the result of positive change in habits, but guess what? So can weight gain. The pics I’m being compared to are from when I was in active addiction with undiagnosed illness.”
She added that her husband, Felber, does not recognise her in such photos because “he sees how dimmed my light was”.
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“I say this for any other person whose appearance has changed with time, illness or circumstance – it’s okay to live in your present body without treating it as transitional,” said Dunham.
“I am, and I’m really enjoying it. Love you all.”
In December last year, Dunham posted a shot of herself in a bikini revealing that her feelings of “self-loathing” were returning during lockdown.
“You know I’ve been thinking a lot about my pot belly in quarantine – especially as I notice an unusual amount of articles with titles like ‘How I Lost the Weight’ and ‘Diet is Everything’,” wrote the actor in the photo’s caption.
Earlier this summer, she also announced the release of her new collection of plus-size clothing.
Dunham created 11 Honoré x Lena Dunham, in collaboration with 11 Honoré, a retailer that pushes high-fashion designers to include more inclusive sizes.
If you are experiencing feelings of distress and isolation, or are struggling to cope, The Samaritans offers support; you can speak to someone for free over the phone, in confidence, on 116 123 (UK and ROI), email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch.
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If you are in another country, you can go to www.befrienders.org to find a helpline near you.
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