Lena Dunham posts side-by-side photographs with a super important message behind them
It seems a shame that, despite the fact that we are living in 2018, women are still having to fight a battle against the male-dominated beauty standards that exist in the western world.
While the rise of Instagram has undoubtedly had an impact on this fight, with body-positivity booming as a result of the photo-sharing app, there is still a lot to be done before we can safely say that archaic and sexist beauty ideals have been eradicated.
Of course, there are some women who are trying more than others to change the way we think, and Lena Dunham is one of them. The actress, who is known for creating and starring in the hit series 'Girls,' has often been outspoken about the pressures society puts women and even appeared on the cover of Glamour magazine to address the issue.
Speaking candidly about body image at the time, 32-year-old Lena, said: “Throughout my teens I was told, in no uncertain terms, that I was f—— funny looking,” on Instagram in 2017.
“Potbelly, rabbit teeth, knock knees — I could never seem to get it right and it haunted my every move. I posed as the sassy confident one, secretly horrified and hurt by careless comments and hostility.
“Let’s get something straight: I didn’t hate what I looked like — I hated the culture that was telling me to hate it."
Dunham also spoke about being praised for showing her body on Girls — but says she was praised for the wrong reasons. “When my career started, some people celebrated my look but always through the lens of, ‘Isn’t she brave? Isn’t it such a bold move to show THAT body on TV?'” she writes.
“Well, today this body is on the cover of a magazine that millions of women will read, without photoshop, my thigh on full imperfect display.”
Now, Lena has once more popped up on her Instagram to show how much her body has changed over the years. In side-by-side photos, the writer, actor, and activist celebrates how she's gone from "sick in the head and tissues" to "happy, joyous, and free."
The post proved to be popular and received upward of 200,000 likes in its first hour—way more than Lena's typical Instagram uploads. In the caption, she wrote:
"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.
"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.
"Even this OG body positivity warrior sometimes looks at the left picture longingly, until I remember the impossible pain that brought me there and onto my proverbial knees.
"As I type I can feel my back fat rolling up under my shoulder blades. I lean in."
Fair play to Lena for using her platform to spread a message of positivity and acceptance. She may not be everyone's favourite celebrity, but she is trying to have a positive impact on the world.