We’re not into fashion shaming here. We celebrate other women, their style and their achievements, not put them down because of what they wore on the red carpet. So we were really impressed to read Lena Dunham’s response to gossip blogger Perez Hilton after he publicly criticised one of her looks.
Hilton posted two images of Dunham on his Instagram, one asking followers to add their own captions, and the other with the subtle barb “Nice to see her trying!”. Incidentally, she was at a dinner for the Human Rights Campaign, not a catwalk show.
“I try at a lot of things,” she wrote directly below the post.
“Mostly I try at being a writer, director, actor, activist, friend, sibling, partner, Godmother…. Fashion is fun but sometimes I’d rather not spend three hours and lots of cash I could give to charity or spend on books and food to get ready to go out. [There are a lot of] different ways to be a public figure and I think there’s room for us to occasionally show up in public like normal people do.
“When I look at that picture you subjected to ‘caption this’ criticism, I see a day well-spent writing, reading, having tea with a friend. It’s unfortunate that the days you approve of most are the ones where I’m spending the least time on what really matters.
“With love, Lena.”
Hilton chose to respond with a fawning “well said”, adding that he had not intended either of the images to be critical of her.
She could have seen these posts and left them well alone. But we’re really glad she didn’t, because its exactly this sort of media culture that encourages us to value ourselves as women based on our appearance first, and our talents second. Wearing a nice dress fun, but it is not a talent. We are worth so much more.