Although Lena Dunham is an outspoken champion of body positivity, she’s no stranger to being shamed for her appearance.
The writer has fielded “fat” jibes from public figures like Howard Stern and Joan Rivers in the past, and has spoken of how significantly the abuse she cops on social media affects her. You only need to look at the comments on her Instagram photos to understand why.
Overnight, the Girls star has hit back after yet another case of body bullying — not only to call out the appalling behaviour of her “trollz”, but also to protect her young followers from their cruel taunts.
The comments had flooded in when Dunham posted a photo of herself (below) wearing her boyfriend’s underwear, joking their dog had eaten all of hers.
It’s not unusual for the 29-year-old to ‘gram pictures of herself in lingerie or swimwear, and for keyboard warriors to attempt to shame her for it. However, this time she snapped. Dunham removed the photo, replacing it with one of a ‘Fashion Police’ magazine spread she was featured in.
“I just deleted a pic of me in my boyfriend’s underwear. Just an FYI, I don’t delete because I’m ashamed of my body — I delete because certain pics become hot beds for negativity,” she explained in the caption.
“You think I want a teenager visiting my page and seeing a zillion comments about how fat I am? No, because that is hurtful to any person struggling, comparing, contrasting. So since the trollz came out, I will instead share a pic of me shining bright on my rightful throne.”
This is an important point to make. Without a doubt, body shaming in any form is hurtful and distressing for the person on the receiving end; but when it’s done in a public forum like Instagram, where comments can be seen by thousands of people, there’s also potential for a ripple effect. Especially when the subject has a loyal following.
Part of Dunham’s popularity lies in the fact she doesn’t fit the physical mold of the typical ‘celebrity’; she doesn’t have the gazelle-like proportions of a Victoria’s Secret model or the ‘cheese grater’ abs we so often see on magazine covers.
Yet she refuses to apologise for this, or to dress to ‘flatter her figure’ as fashion commentators are constantly advising her to do. (Post continues after gallery…)
So for a young fan to see someone they admire being called a “fat pig”, or any of the other insults thrown Dunham’s way every day, it’s going to be disheartening to say the least.
It’s a shame Dunham felt compelled to delete her first photo — look, who hasn’t worn their boyfriend’s boxers before? — but it’s brilliant to see an influential celebrity looking out for her fans. And, judging by how they responded to her update, the Not That Kind of Girl author has only solidified their love and respect.
“You’re ALWAYS amazing and beautiful. Love you Lena, you’re such an inspiration!” one writes.
“I’m very appreciative of your contribution to young women’s body acceptance and our feminist struggle for equality. Thank you,” added another.
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
Have you ever been bullied on social media? How did you respond?
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