Posted in: Celebrity

The Drawback With Lena Dunham’s New Plus-Dimension Clothes Line Is Lena Dunham


This week, “Girls” creator, author and actress Lena Dunham introduced the launch of the 11 Honoré x Lena Dunham Assortment, her new “plus-sized” clothes line with the 11 Honoré model. She celebrated the launch with a number of Instagram posts and a broadly shared interview in The New York Occasions

To be trustworthy, 11 Honoré was barely on my radar, just because the manufacturers the corporate carries, its personal included, most undoubtedly don’t “embody” our bodies like mine. I couldn’t put on a single factor from its website, and that is the case for a lot of fats folks. 

The backlash towards the restricted dimension vary of 14–26 was fairly quick. Now, to be honest to Dunham, I’ve not seen her discuss with her line as “inclusive.” Nevertheless, 11 Honoré calls itself “a size-inclusive buying website” in its mission assertion — whereas additionally itemizing a dimension vary of 12–24. 

I personally don’t consider “inclusive” can apply to websites that cater to a restricted dimension vary that excludes each bigger and smaller sizes. That place could also be considerably controversial, however to me, “inclusive trend” appears to be like like a model like SmartGlamour, by Mallorie Dunn, which has a preset dimension vary from XXS – 15X, however moreover provides full customization of each piece bought, every of which is made to order. 

Merely put, the aim of “inclusive trend” needs to be to truly embody each physique sort. 

Whereas this a dialog that’s price having, it’s not what I’m right here to speak about as we speak. I wish to speak about Dunham’s Occasions interview associated to the launch of her assortment ― as a result of her feedback are extremely problematic for somebody attempting to promote clothes to fats girls. 

Dunham has apparently handled some medication-related weight acquire after battling what feels like an terrible case of COVID-19 final March. Anybody who has taken steroids for an sickness or damage is aware of the unwanted side effects are terrible. One in all them includes weight acquire; one other is a puffiness that’s particularly noticeable within the face, usually referred to as “moon face.” 

On the subject of her face and being on steroids, Dunham stated, “I’m … attempting to be chin optimistic. I can cope with something, however a triple chin is a tough place to land.” [Emphasis mine.] 

Dunham stands out as the ‘greatest’ one in a variety of rooms, however there’s nonetheless no denying that in comparison with many people, she advantages from great privilege the place her dimension is worried.

Yikes. That is problematic not solely as a result of after I take a look at Dunham, I don’t see a “triple chin,” but in addition as a result of even when she does have one, it’s as a result of medicine ― not precise fatness. If she had been to go off the steroids, that puffiness would go away. 

Moreover, think about how anybody with a “triple chin,” who probably already can not put on Dunham’s clothes assortment, may really feel after they learn that — to not point out anybody else enduring “moon face” from steroids or continual sickness. 

This touches on a significant subject I’ve with Dunham’s assortment. Dunham says within the Occasions interview that her physique has settled round a 14/16. Contemplating the common American lady is usually said to be a dimension 16, Dunham’s dimension is, effectively, simply that — common. Plus-sized, however simply barely.  

By the leisure trade’s requirements, Dunham may be thought of “fats.” I don’t doubt for a second that she has felt the vociferous backlash of being in a bigger physique in an trade that appears to contemplate girls “plus-size” after they’re a mere dimension 8. 

In her private {and professional} world, Dunham stands out as the “greatest” one in a variety of rooms, however there’s nonetheless no denying that in comparison with many people, she advantages from great privilege the place her dimension is worried — even when she can’t see it. 

This faucets into one in every of Dunham’s greatest issues; the one that’s the supply of lots of her self-created controversies. She appears to exist in a bubble; her imaginative and prescient made myopic by advantage of privilege. I suppose that’s the reason, over the course of some sentences, when speaking about her stomach, she informs us that that is the place she’s at all times gained weight. 

She provides that notably after going by means of early menopause following her hysterectomy, she has a “straight up intestine, like an previous man,” and provides, “that’s not the place anybody desires to see flesh. It’s not like if I posted a sensual nude of myself on Instagram, folks could be marveling at my stunning derrière.” 

I’m not precisely positive how we get from her self-perceived intestine of a stomach to her bare butt in that trade, however right here’s the factor: She’s unsuitable. There’s undoubtedly loads of love for each massive bellies and massive butts (many a lot bigger than hers, I’ll add) on Instagram (and elsewhere). 

Fats folks can completely be sensual. We have now nice intercourse ― and generally horrible intercourse ― similar to any skinny particular person. 

This isn’t to say I lack empathy for Dunham as a result of, a minimum of on this, I don’t. I completely get being insecure about your stomach. I additionally acquire weight in my abdomen, and to this present day, I battle with these insecurities. 

This insecurity is why I’ve at all times tried to put on shirts that cowl my abdomen utterly, particularly as I gained weight. It’s why I by no means needed my stomach to point out clothed, not to mention nude, in pics. I’ve gotten lots higher about sharing pics displaying me simply dwelling my greatest (fats) life, no matter how a lot of my physique reveals, however that doesn’t imply it’s simple on a regular basis, both.  

‘Liberated’ is a good phrase for what I need in my trend as a fats particular person. I don’t want extra neutrals.

I lastly posted a pic of my naked stomach (which is way, a lot bigger than Dunham’s has ever been) on Instagram one morning when my canine occurred to be resting his head on it. I knew I used to be opening myself as much as hatred (I’m doing that any time I write or put up about being fats, to be trustworthy ― simply learn the feedback that may undoubtedly wind up on this piece or any of my earlier ones). And I felt extremely susceptible. However I additionally felt extremely liberated. 

“Liberated” is a good phrase for what I need in my trend as a fats particular person. I don’t want extra neutrals (Dunham’s assortment is all impartial colours). I don’t wish to be obsessive about “flattering,” as a result of, let’s get actual … the people who find themselves going to hate fats our bodies like mine aren’t going to seek out any clothes I put on “flattering.” I don’t need boring, primary clothes. I additionally don’t need the ugly home clothes of my teenagers.  

Dunham makes issues even worse when she, to cite the reporter’s unlucky and certain intentional alternative of phrases, “out of the blue started chomping on a sandwich,” which prompted her to remark, “It appears applicable for this interview that I eat this massive baguette.” Main cringe right here. Thanks for including to the stereotypes of individuals in bigger our bodies consuming lots. We don’t cope with sufficient of that already. 

I get so many feedback about how I ought to simply cease consuming cheeseburgers at fast-food eating places. I can’t even eat freakin’ beef, because of the fucking gastric sleeve surgical procedure I had in March 2018, and I not often eat quick meals in any respect. I see these feedback and simply suppose, ”Pfft, I want I might have a rattling cheeseburger. Now, kindly fuck off.”

We (fats folks) actually don’t want somebody in a a lot, a lot smaller physique than lots of ours so as to add to this bullshit narrative about how fats folks eat, particularly whereas attempting to promote clothes to us (effectively ― to not me, however to folks larger than Dunham herself). 

The reality is, regardless of her claims in any other case, it doesn’t seem to be Dunham is comfy in her personal pores and skin in any respect. That’s comprehensible, as I stated, for somebody in her trade. Nevertheless, maybe earlier than attempting to promote garments to fats folks, she ought to’ve accomplished some unpacking of her personal internalized weight stigma.

It’s exhausting to separate her intentions from her phrases as a result of, as I’ve written about earlier than, you may’t separate one fats particular person’s physique from one other fats particular person’s physique ― and that features your individual. For those who’re mocking a fats stranger, you’re mocking me, too. 

For those who’re making disagreeable feedback about your individual physique, that interprets to folks in our bodies like your individual ― and people in even bigger our bodies than your individual. It is a lesson Dunham very clearly nonetheless must be taught; one I hope she’ll come to know among the many critiques. 

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