Only yesterday we reported that Lena Dunham – actress, writer and long-time campaigner for body positivity – had called out a Spanish magazine for excessively Photoshopping a picture of her on its cover. Now, it turns out, she got it wrong.
After yesterday’s reports made waves around the world, the Spanish magazine at the centre of the controversy – Tentaciones – published a letter to the actress. In it, the magazine stated that it had not retouched Dunham’s image for its cover, instead only cropping the picture to make it fit the format of the magazine – with the approval of Dunham’s team, who they sent the image to for review. The letter stated “those who are familiar with and follow our magazine will know that we do not use Photoshop nor other digital tools to change the physical appearance of our cover stars, nor in the features to be found inside. On this occasion, the only thing we did was to crop the image to adapt it to the format of our front page.”
Good-naturedly, Tentaciones went on to commend Dunham for maintaining her “rebellious spirit”, offering her a magazine subscription “as a courtesy every month, so that you can see for yourself that we like to reflect things the way that they really are.”
Dunham, for her part, responded with class, acknowledging her mistake and saying she’d welcome the offer of a magazine subscription. In an Instagram post she thanked the magazine for its response and for “being so good natured about my request for accuracy”. She went on to write "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.”
If you compare the images, it’s doesn’t look like the magazine cover has been Photoshopped – only cropped (although I’m not an expert). The incident’s been a lesson in how to respond to criticism with grace – and how to back down in a dignified way when you realise you’ve got it wrong. On the plus side, it must be a nice feeling to realise the photo you’ve called out for excessively manipulating your image hasn’t actually done any manipulation at all – you really do look that good.