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Lena Dunham calls $10,000 bounty for unretouched Vogue photos 'gross'

Lena Dunham slammed the website Jezebel for publishing unretouched photos from her February 2014 Vogue photo shoot.

Lena Dunham slams Jezebel for publishing her un-retouched Vogue photos.
Anthony Harvey/Getty Images

"That was messed up," Dunham said in an interview with Grantland Channel (see video). "I think Jezebel is really smart and funny. It's just like once you've been attacked that way it's hard to enjoy. It's hard to enjoy once you feel like they've made such a monumental error in their approach to feminism."

In January 2014, the website Jezebel posted the unretouched images from Dunham's Vogue photo spread after offering a $10,000 bounty for them on the Internet.

Jezebel, a feminist blog that claims to be "aimed at women's interests," said it was important to publish the images to portray Lena realistically, instead of digitally enhanced.

While magazines routinely Photoshop models and celebrities in layouts, critics (such as Jezebel) slam the practice for promoting poor body image, low self-esteem, and eating disorders among women.

In Lena's case, the Photoshopped images weren't heavily altered, which is why the "Girls" star was furious that Jezebel made such a big deal over her Vogue photos.

"It was the most minimal retouching," said Dunham. "I felt completely respected by Vogue. I felt like, 'Thank you for removing the one line from my face because I'm 27 years old and shouldn't have that there.' I appreciate this."

Meanwhile, Jezebel stands behind its vigorous "outing," insisting fans should see Dunham as she really is, and not digitally enhanced, especially in light of her vocal declarations that she fully embraces her curvy figure.

"This is about Vogue, and what Vogue decides to do with a specific woman who has very publicly stated that she's fine just the way she is, and the world needs to get on board with that," wrote Jezebel.

In response, Lena said the media frenzy surrounding her debut in the iconic fashion magazine was partly ruined by the mountain Jezebel made out of the Photoshop molehill.

"It was this weird, almost political, maneuvering that I just had a lot of trouble respecting," said Dunham, author of Not That Kind of Girl.

"Instead of saying, 'Hey, we kind of f--ed up. These pictures aren't that retouched. Lena, enjoy the Vogue spread you've been excited about since you were 8 years old,' [Jezebel] was like: 'She's not retouched, but she could have been.' "

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