Pretty Hurts – Hark! Is That Progress On the Horizon?

When I planned my week on, “Pretty Hurts,” I had two videos I wanted to share today. Truth be told, after highlighting the negatives all week, I’ve grown a little weary of shaking my fist. Instead, I’ve decided to celebrate a success.

Lena Dunham, creator and star of the show Girls, is on the cover of Vogue.


Can we pause for a second so I can relish in my current TV crush? Oh Adam, how I adore thee <3 Moving on.

When the photos were released, the website Jezebel offered $10, 000 to see what the unretouched images look like. Lo and behold, they’re not that different. Yes, Vogue did some minor edits, but Lena Dunham still looks like Lena Dunham. Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t having her on the cover of Vogue in the first place count as a win for our side? Dunham by no means fits our society’s conventional standards for beauty, and Vogue is a fashion magazine; putting anyone on the cover who isn’t conventionally “pretty” means progress.

You can see both the original and retouched photos here if you’re curious, along with what I believe is more honest commentary than you’ll find on Jezebel;  “the before and after shots of Dunham are not all that different, and are certainly not an example of the egregious retouching (Jezebel) no doubt hoped for.”

Newsflash, world: we don’t have to complain about everything! How about a little joy once in a while? Lena Dunham is on the cover of Vogue. That’s a big fucking deal. No need to get our underwear in a bunch because they made her neck longer. It’s Vogue. They could have done a lot worse.


Since Fridays are supposed to be video days, here’s the music video for the song I’ve been referencing all week: “Pretty Hurts.” It will either hit you hard or you won’t feel a thing. There’s no in between.

“Strip Away the masquerade
The illusion has been shed
Are you happy with yourself?”

Why yes, actually. I am. And I hope you are, too.