Photoshop can be used for good (to remove a weird shadow or cover a stain), and it can be used for evil to alter your body to the point of being utterly unrecognizable. That’s what happened to Lena Dunham on her cover for Tentaciones, a Spanish-language magazine.
As she writes in a powerful personal essay in her newsletter Lenny Letter, the photo caused a knee-jerk reaction: “I felt a need so immediate it was like demanding that a driver pull over so I could go to the bathroom despite being in the middle of a five-lane highway. I wanted to tell people, loudly: ‘That’s not my body!'”
At this point, it’s not clear if Tentaciones is to blame for the Photoshop snafu or if the image came to the magazine that way—but that’s really beside the point. The whole situation was enough for Dunham to take a stand: She will no longer allow her photos to be retouched. We’ve included a snippet from her essay below, but it’s really worth checking out the full post:
Something snapped when I saw that Spanish cover. Maybe it was the feeling of barely recognizing myself and then being told it was 100 percent me but knowing it probably wasn’t and studying the picture closely for clues. Maybe it was realizing that was an image I had at some point seen, approved, and most likely loved. Maybe it was the fact that I no longer understand what my own thighs look like. But I knew that I was done.
Not done with getting my picture taken (once an insuffera…