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Lena Dunham attacks Spanish newspaper for alleged Photoshop job

Spanish newspaper publicly denies retouching Dunham’s image.


Catherine Scott


Already known for her unapologetic body positivism both in her acting and on social media, Girls writer and actor Lena Dunham gained more admiration on Instagram today for challenging a Spanish newspaper over its alleged digital altering.

In an Instagram post that earned more than 40,000 likes in eight hours, Dunham wrote “Oh hello El Pais! I am genuinely honored to be on your cover. . .BUT this is NOT what my body has ever looked like or will ever look like- the magazine has done more than the average photoshop. So you’re into what I do, why not be honest with your readers? Much love, Lena.” 

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El Pais is a Spanish daily newspaper, and the cover picture to which Dunham refers appeared in its pull-out supplement, Tentaciones.

However, El Pais has denied the accusation in an open letter posted on its website today, which stated:

Those who know and follow our magazine know that we do not use Photoshop or other digital tools to change the physique of the people featured on our cover or inside stories. This time we just cut the original image to fit the format of our cover.

Here you can see the original photograph on your shared by photographer Ruven Afanador on your Facebook page and then on the cover of Tenaciones. As you can see, the picture is exactly the same.

A side-by-side examination of the pictures does confirm that, aside from cropping, they are identical; an Imgur has even been created to emphasize this. Several commenters on Dunham’s Instagram have suggested that, if the photo was altered, it must have been done by the photographer himself.

The Daily Dot has reached out to photographer Ruven Afanador for comment, but has not yet heard back.

Update 10:10am CT, March 2: Dunham responded to El Pais’ letter in a slightly confusing Instagram post yesterday, where she both apologizes to the newspaper for her accusation but insists the image was still altered, while also admitting that she cannot be sure which aspects were changed and which weren’t.

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She wrote:

“Hey Tentaciones- thank you for sending the uncropped image (note to the confused: not unretouched, uncropped!) and for being so good natured about my request for accuracy. I understand that a whole bunch of people approved this photo before it got to you- and why wouldn’t they? I look great. But it’s a weird feeling to see a photo and not know if it’s your own body anymore (and I’m pretty sure that will never be my thigh width but I honestly can’t tell what’s been slimmed and what hasn’t).”

She concludes “Sorry to make you the problem, you cool Spanish magazine you. Time to get to the bottom of this in a bigger way.”

Photo via Fortune Live Media/Flickr (CC BY ND 2.0)

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