Lena Dunham issues statement on body-shaming after ‘gnarly’ comments

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Lena Dunham issues statement on body-shaming after ‘gnarly’ comments
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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”.

“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.”

Lena Dunham and partner Luis Felber in August 2021 (Getty Images)
Lena Dunham and partner Luis Felber in August 2021 (Getty Images)

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 jo@samaritans.org, or visit the Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch.

If you are based in the USA, and you or someone you know needs mental health assistance right now, call National Suicide Prevention Helpline on 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The Helpline is a free, confidential crisis hotline that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you are in another country, you can go to www.befrienders.org to find a helpline near you.

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