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After half a week of hubbub over her Vogue cover—and really who didn't see that coming—Dunham spoke out about the kerfuffle while on press tour in France, telling Slate: "A fashion magazine is like a beautiful fantasy." 

Jezebel took special issue with the magazine's photoshoot, offering $10,000 for unretouched images, in a play for clicks that ended up seeming more bullying than anything Vogue would do. When they got those they were, well, boring. (In response to Jezebel, a project on IndieGogo seeks to raise $10,000 for Step Up Women's Network so money can go to "the promotion of women rather than the sensationalizing of their bodies.") Dunham had responded to the site's stunt in a veiled way on her Twitter, but the statements to Slate tackle posing for Vogue more broadly. On the subject of photoshop she said: "I understand that for people there is a contradiction between what I do and being on the cover of Vogue; but frankly I really don’t know what the photoshopping situation is, I can’t look at myself really objectively in that way." She added that she felt Vogue "supported" her and she didn't feel "bullied." 

What the Jezebel post took specific issue with was the distance between Dunham's "body positive" image and Vogue's standard of beauty. Responding to those contradictions Dunham said: 

Vogue isn’t the place that we go to look at realistic women, Vogue is the place that we go to look at beautiful clothes and fancy places and escapism and so I feel like if the story reflects me and I happen to be wearing a beautiful Prada dress and surrounded by beautiful men and dogs, what’s the problem? If they want to see what I really look like go watch the show that I make every single week.

Dunham, obviously, knew Vogue's M.O. going in, and who is to say it's a crime for a woman to want to look beautiful and exist in a fashion fantasy? 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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