Lena Dunham was the target of online body-shamers after she uploaded an Instagram photo of herself wearing nothing but a sports bra and her boyfriend’s boxers. The ordeal, and many like it, have all but driven her off of Twitter.
“I don’t even know my Twitter password, which may make me seem like I’m no longer a sort of genuine community user,” she said.
She added: “I really appreciate that anybody follows me at all, and so I didn’t want to cut off my relationship to it completely, but it really, truly wasn’t a safe space for me.”
The 29-year-old spoke of the photo she uploaded last week (showcasing herself in her boyfriend’s underwear), which included an honest caption about her “rough week” and the need for space and time alone.
Many Instagram users applauded Dunham for her honesty and boldness with comments like “you are amazing” and “OMG, an actress looks like a real woman.” But others criticized the actress’s weight.
Dunham said that she thought the photo was funny, explaining that she had to wear her boyfriend’s underwear because her dog ate all of her underpants (which she says is something her pup usually does).
“It wasn’t a graphic picture,” the Girls creator said. “I was wearing men’s boxers and it turned into the most rabid, disgusting debate about women’s bodies, and my Instagram page was somehow the hub for misogynists for the afternoon.”
She said it is difficult for anyone to separate themselves from “verbal violence” against them, even for those comfortable in their own skin – like Dunham. The actress said that hateful Twitter trollers and mean comments create some “cancerous stuff inside you.”
“Even if you think, like, ‘Oh I can read, like, 10 mentions that say I should be stoned to death’ and kind of, like, laugh and move on,” the actress said. “That’s verbal abuse. Those aren’t words that should be directed at you ever. And so, for me personally, it was safer to stop [using Twitter].”
Although the star may not be personally connected to the Twittersphere anymore, she said she still runs her Instagram account because “It’s a more positive community.”
Leaving her haters in the dust, the 29-year-old is keeping busy. In addition to the upcoming season 5 of Girls, Dunham and Konner are leading an email newsletter called Lenny, which promises “feminism, style, health, politics, friendship and everything else.”