Dunham deconstructs before-and-after photos, all in name of body positivity

Lena Dunham is never afraid to make a point, and she did just that recently, this time using her own photos.

According to HuffPost, the actor and “Girls” showrunner took to Instagram to post two side-by-side photos that illustrated how her body has changed in the past few years. In the caption, HuffPost says she used the space to discuss how each difference in her body came with a difference in her mindset — and vice versa.

“On the left: 138 pounds, complimented all day and propositioned by men and on the cover of a tabloid about diets that work. Also, sick in the tissue and in the head and subsisting only on small amounts of sugar, tons of caffeine and a purse pharmacy,” she wrote. “On the right: 162 pounds, happy joyous & free, complimented only by people that matter for reasons that matter, subsisting on a steady flow of fun/healthy snacks and apps and entrees, strong from lifting dogs and spirits”

Showing that being thinner doesn’t always mean that someone is happier (or healthier), HuffPost says Dunham ended her post by admitting that sometimes she looks at the ‘before’ picture “longingly,” even as an “OG body positivity warrior.” But then she “sometimes looks at the left picture longingly, until I remember the impossible pain that brought me there and onto my proverbial knees.”

Ending on the words, “As I type I can feel my back fat rolling up under my shoulder blades. I lean in,” encouraging all of us to “lean in” to who we are and accept ourselves as we are.

Dunham demonstrates body-positive point on Instagram

Lena Dunham recently bared it all on Instagram to make a statement on body image and self-love — literally.

According to InStyle, the Girls creator and star posted a nude photo of herself (save for a few strategically-placed emojis) along with a caption that not only discussed the impetus behind her decision to post the photo, but also the reason why she is choosing to love her body. Referencing the Instagram account @eatingboys, which InStyle reports frequently addresses body image, Dunham wrote:

“Just wanted to share that one of the reasons @eatingboys has inspired me so much is because of the way she mixes her humor and sexuality. I spent so many years loving my body but thinking it wasn’t lovable by others- its sole purpose was to be fodder for jokes.”

Dunham continued her caption says InStyle, sharing that she often made herself the punchline to jokes so no one else could, but now, she recognizes that her body is worth much more than a joke.

“…At age 31, having been through hell and back with my health and other people’s perceptions of my physicality, I feel deeply comfortable with the idea that this pear-shaped pot of honey is equally good for making people laugh and laying out like a Suicide Girl circa 2004. Love it all.”

Thanks, Lena Dunham, for reminding us to “love it all.”

‘Glamour’ goes all-female for February issue

When a magazine designed for women has most of their creative content done by men, there is a problem. That’s why Glamours latest issue features photography, styling, hair and makeup done solely by women.

On on Jan. 3 , Glamour Editor in Chief Cindi Leive published an article on the magazine’s website detailing the percentages of women contributing to the visual elements of the magazine that motivated the change.

“Only 37 percent of the photographers we were using in our own print pages were female, and 32 percent of the hairstylists. (Forty-nine percent of makeup artists were female, but dismayingly the ratio got lower as the story got bigger.)” she wrote.

Sharing that Glamour isn’t the only magazine with the issue, Leive said that she knew it was time to make a change and move toward gender parity. Beginning with their February issue, Leive wrote, “from first page to last, every photo we commissioned was created by a woman: photographers, stylists, hair, makeup, everything.”

Additionally, the magazine will make a concerted effort to increase the number of women in “creative-contributor roles” throughout the year, marking a New Year’s resolution of sorts for the glossy.

Leive closed her announcement of Glamour’s latest endeavor by pointing out that both men and women offer equally valuable contributions, ones that can only be recognized when they are given a chance to shine.

“Women and men alike can be adventurous, experimental, relatable, accessible, or wildly artistic, and our vision of fashion and beauty and life will be richer when all our voices are heard. I can’t wait for Glamour to be part of that.”

Kudos to you, Glamour.

In defense of self-defense

When Gigi Hadid was attacked by a man who grabbed her after a Max Mara fashion show in Milan, the supermodel fought off her aggressor with an elbow to the face. Following the incident, Hadid wants women and girls everywhere to know that they have every right to fight back.

According to The Cut, Hadid recently spoke with Lena Dunham for her Lenny Letter, sharing that her quick reaction to the attack came as a result of previous boxing training. Although she told Lenny Letter that she hasn’t boxed in two years, all of her training came back to her in that moment.

“Since then, I hadn’t been in a situation that forced me to fight back,” she said, according to The Cut, “but it just came out when he grabbed me — it wasn’t a choice. I do have that fighter in me.”

But in addition to discussing the source of her quick action, The Cut says Hadid told Lenny Letter that she “hopes girls see the video of the attack, and realize how important it is to practice and learn self-defense.”

“I just want to use what happened to me to show that it’s everyone’s right, and it can be empowering, to be able to defend yourself,” she said.

Zumiez debuts Lakai x Lena Dunham

Self-expression can take many forms, just one of which is fashion. So when fashion can communicate an important message while also benefitting a worthy cause, you can’t go wrong.

Cue Lena Dunham’s new collaboration with Zumiez, called the “Lakai x Lena Dunham.” Dubbed on Zumiez’s tumblr as “an ode to womanhood,” the collaboration features the brand’s iconic Lakai sneaker with sketches of “fantastical women”drawn by illustrator Joana Avillez, all laid over bubble gum pink and Fura white backgrounds.

Inspired by a “workshop Lena and her sister Grace attended while at Young Women Empowered,” Zumiez says that a portion of the proceeds will benefit Y-WE, an “organization that empowers young women from diverse backgrounds to step up as leaders in their schools, communities and the world.”

To learn more about Y-WE, click here, and to shop the Lakai x Lena Dunham collection, click here.

 

Dunham and Kirke pose for new lingerie campaign

There’s nothing like a healthy dose of body positivity to get your week started — and leave it to Girls stars Lena Dunham and Jemima Kirke to deliver.

According to Motto by TIME, the actresses star in a new ad campaign for Lonely, a New Zealand underwear company that “celebrates the strength and individuality of women and creates lingerie, swimwear and clothing that embraces and empowers them.”

Dunham and Kirke look stunning as they model the sexy lingerie styles for the campaign, which Motto says is part of the brand’s “Lonely Girls Campaign, a series of Photoshop-free photographs of women wearing the brand in their own spaces as a rebuke traditional lingerie advertising.”

Motto reports the underwear company explained in a statement to Dazed the mission of the campaign, as well as the decision to feature the duo:

“Instead of being objectified, the women who participate in these campaigns—in this case, Lena and Jemima—are empowered and exhibit real beauty that will hopefully help women everywhere feel a little more liberated.”

Amen to that.

 

 

Dunham drops new book

Looking for a good book to add to your summer reading list? Search no more, because Lena Dunham just surprised everyone with a new release just in time for your first beach reading day of the season.

According to Buzzfeed, the Girls star and showrunner dropped a new book called Is It Evil Not to Be Sure? on Tuesday, May 17. A “collection of entries from Lena Dunham’s diary — or what she called her ‘Creative Snippets and Observations Journal’ — from the fall of 2005 and the spring of 2006,” Amazon says the book is a “candid, chaotic and occasionally poetic snapshot of a young person becoming an adult.”

While the book’s release was both covert and exciting, perhaps more exciting is its charitable ties: Amazon says the profits from the book’s sales will benefit Girls Write Now, a community of female writers that support and guide high school girls in developing their voices through writing.

Speaking exclusively to Buzzfeed on the launch of her second title, Dunham explained that she discovered the journal entries on an only hard drive after recovering from surgery. While sifting through the words of her youth, the actress said that she was proud of how she documented her formative years, offering:

“I have always believed that women chronicling their own lives, even (or especially) at their most mundane, is a radical act. That’s why I thought the diaries might be worth sharing as a short book, with proceeds going to Girls Write Now and their mission to give young women the tools to tell their own stories.”

To purchase a digital copy of Dunham’s book, click here.

 

Lenny Letter gets imprint at Random House

Launched in July 2015, Lena Dunham and Girls partner Jenni Konner’s Lenny Letter — described by The Washington Post as a “feminist arts newsletter”  — has garnered over 400,000 subscribers as of March 2016, according to the Nieman Foundation.  But the newsletter has just reached a new level of success.

InStyle reports that Dunham and Konner are set to launch their own Lenny imprint at Random House, a feat that the magazine says Buzzfeed reported earlier this week. Random House published Dunham’s 2014 release, Not That Kind of Girl.

Fiction and nonfiction works featuring strong voices selected by Dunham and Konner will be published by Lenny, says InStyle. Random House Vice President, Editor-in-Chief Andy Ward said in a release that the partnership with Dunham is a “natural extension” of the publisher’s relationship with the actress.

“Working with Lena, Jenni and the editors of Lenny, we plan to publish a select number of titles each year to build a varied, compelling, and voice-driven list. Drawing on their eye for talent and love of books, we see this as a perfect opportunity to broaden what we do at Random House, while staying true to our mission: to work with writers we love and to publish them well,” he said.

Explaining their love of reading, Dunham told Buzzfeed that she and Konner are constantly trading books with each other to stimulate their creativity.

“Our friendship often doubles as a book club, “she said, according to InStyle. “Lenny books will aspire to push the ball forward on the issues that matter to our audience, with wit and style. We hope to see them sticking out of purses and riding public transportation everywhere.”

 

Top of the Heap

The past year and a half has brought on some major changes in the world of sports, which came in the form of several major advancements for women in the industry. In July 2014, Michele Roberts, a former trial lawyer, became the executive director of the NBA Players Association. And in doing so, she became the first woman to ever hold that position.

Bustle reports that Roberts garnered a lot of media attention for her role, but she hasn’t faltered in the face of this newfound attention, nor has she become “intimidated by the prospect of being a trailblazer or of being a woman in a male-dominated world.”

Roberts even spoke to The New York Times on overcoming obstacles on her way to her current status, saying “‘My past is littered with the bones of men who were foolish enough to think I was someone they could sleep on.'”

Although Roberts ascended to her current seat as the head of the NBA Players Association over a year ago, she has recently come back into media attention for her interview with Lenny, a newsletter create by actress Lena Dunham and her Girls producer Jenni Konner.

In her interview, she provides several enlightening responses on a range of topics, one of which was how she learned to not worry about what other people think of her. She said, “I’m not suggesting that you barrel through life willy-nilly, but I am suggesting that we stop trying to allow other people’s potential prejudices, let alone actual prejudices, to paralyze us.”

Perhaps one of the greatest portions of her interview came when she discussed how she pushed past the many obstacles in her life despite her circumstances. “I grew up in the projects, I grew up on welfare. There was no reason in the world for me to think I could do anything other than get a high school diploma,” she said. “I’ll pat myself on the back, I was a phenomenal trial lawyer, very successful, and I would have bet against me [laughs] if I was not me. A little black girl from the South Bronx.”

Thank you, Michele Roberts, for showing us that success is possible no matter how difficult our circumstances may be.

To read the full interview, click here.