Monday, October 28, 2013

Lena Dunham on the Cover of Vogue. Will it Change Anything?

Anna Wintour is reportedly courting Lena Dunham for a Vogue cover. Much of the reporting focuses on Dunham’s not-skinny body, Wintour’s decision to use Dunham to attract a younger and hipper audience, and Vogue’s few past forays into atypical (for a fashion magazine) body types. Both Adele and Jennifer Hudson’s Vogue covers were controversial in the employment of Photoshop and camera tricks.

Dunham’s frequent nudity on her HBO series, Girls, has been variously described as real, radical, narcissistic and uncomfortable (for viewers). She certainly does not have a body that conforms to media standards of beauty. Does this mean that Wintour’s desire to have Dunham on the cover will be used as an opportunity for fashion to celebrate diverse body types?  Not necessarily.  Dunham has been down this road before and the results were not groundbreaking blows for body acceptance. The photo below is Dunham’s Marie Claire UK cover of August 2013.

Let’s be real.  This is Vogue, not Bust or another feminist or alternative magazine. I expect that given the notoriety of her work on Girls, photo retouching will likely be kept to a minimum. And Dunham will look glamorous.   

Posted on October 28, 2013 I Blog post by Lou Acierno, M.L.I.S. (Director of Library Services)