Lena Dunham Shuts Down Sexist Media In One Amazing Instagram Post

It’s easy to criticise Lena Dunham. The actress, writer, producer and director has had her fair share of foot-in-mouth moments, with Twitter calling her out on everything from saying she wished she’d had an abortion, to the lack of diversity in Girls, to accusing a sports star of not wanting to hit on her. She does, however, use her platform to talk about ongoing and prevalent issues facing women, from reproductive rights to mental health. Her podcast, Women of the Hour, is a well-rounded exploration of the complexity of women’s lives, and she’s always vocal on social media about the issues that are important to her.
Dunham has been very open about her recent uptake of exercise and healthy eating – something her Girls character, Hannah, was known for hating – and while there was always going to be chatter about her changing figure and speculation surrounding her motives, today she took to Instagram to shut down the trashy, sexist and invasive world of the media and paparazzi.
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Her post shows the cover of a magazine with the headline "20 Slimdown DIET TIPS STARS ARE USING" next to a shot of Lena, photographed while out and about in New York. The photo is captioned, "LENA: HOW SHE GETS MOTIVATED". We’re used to seeing these crass and crap headlines on newsagents' shelves every day – it’s something we’ve come to accept, with an eye roll and wave of hand. But Dunham has clearly had enough. She proceeded to list the "20 tips" in a witty and telling rundown of the factors that can and do pressure women into being self-conscious about their weight.

20 slimdown diet tips! 1. anxiety disorder * 2. resultant constant nausea 3. an election that reveals the true depths of American misogyny 4. constant sweaty dreams of dystopian future 5. abdominal adhesions pinning ovary below uterus * 6. baseless but still harrowing threats to physical safety online and through smail mail 7. watching institutions you love from Planned Parenthood to PBS be threatened by cartoon mustache-twirling villains 8. finally realizing superheroes aren't real (specifically the X-Factor, really thought they'd handle this) 9. marching your ass off 10. a quiet rage that replaces need for food with need for revenge 11. sleeping 19 hours a day 12. realizing that even the liberal media wants dem clicks no matter whut 13. worrying ceaselessly about the health and safety of women you know and women you don't 14. realizing who ya real friends are 15. having to switch from Uber to Lyft (lots of calories burned trying to understand a new app, then even more trying to understand if the conflict was resolved) 16. bladder spasms, urinary frequency and urgency * 17. having your phone number leaked and violent images texted to your phone by randos under names like VERYFATCHUCKYBOY@creepz.com 18. keeping your back arched against the wind 19. um, who the fuck cares? 20. I have no tips I give no tips I don't want to be on this cover cuz it's diametrically opposed to everything I've fought my whole career for and it's not a compliment to me because it's not an achievement thanx * Star indicates a pre-existing condition

A post shared by Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) on

In it, she takes a shot at the current state of US politics: "worrying ceaselessly about the health and safety of women you know and women you don’t"; "an election that reveals the true depths of American misogyny". Dunham also lists the physical symptoms of the endometriosis from which she suffers – "abdominal adhesions pinning ovary below uterus"; "bladder spasms, urinary frequency and urgency" – before, finally, taking a swipe at the media’s ravenous takedown of women everywhere: "having your phone number leaked and violent images texted to your phone by randos under names like VERYFATCHUCKYBOY@creepz.com"; "realizing that even the liberal media wants dem clicks no matter whut".
She ends with, "I have no tips I give no tips I don't want to be on this cover cuz it's diametrically opposed to everything I've fought my whole career for and it's not a compliment to me because it's not an achievement thanx". Can we get an amen? Women’s bodies aren’t here for the hungry media to consume, and everyone should just let her get on with running, or weightlifting or, you know, whatever the hell she wants.
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