“I was frustrated by it, because it really was evidence that as a woman in Hollywood, you just can’t win,” Dunham, 30, says on Wednesday’s episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show. “It’s just so crazy because I spent six years of my career being called things like ‘bag of milk’ on the internet, baby cow, aging cow.”
But Dunham, who has long been a model of body positivity, says the insults didn’t bother her then, and they still don’t.
“I also just never felt self-conscious about it,” she says. “I was like, anyone who’s going to take the time to say something negative about my weight on the internet I wasn’t particularly keen to impress anyway.”
“But then I had this experience of my body changing and I had all these people being like, ‘you’re a hypocrite, I thought you were body-positive, I thought you embrace bodies of all sizes.’ And I was like, I do, I just understand that bodies change. We live a long time. Things happen. Andrew Rannells [her Girls costar] could get very fat, we don’t know.”
“I think for me the big thing was that Tracy just very clearly wasn’t trying to change my body,” she told PEOPLE on March 15. “I came to her and was like, ‘I have endometriosis, I have chronic physical pain, I just want to feel stronger I just want to have a stronger core, I want to feel like I have more power throughout my day, how do I get there?’ I like that she was coming at it from that perspective rather than like, ‘I’d like to shrink six inches.’ ”
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And Dunham’s newfound flexibility came in handy during a photoshoot for NYLON, she explains on Ellen, after DeGeneres shows a photo of Dunham posing with her leg over her head.
“I was pretty please to be able to bust that one out, I have to say,” Dunham says, laughing. “The photographer was very serious and French, and I was just sitting there and he was like, ‘What do you want to do, what do you want to show me?’ And I was like, ‘This?’ [pulling her leg over her head again] And he looked, pretty impressed.”
“And I know this is daytime television, but you can’t do this in front of anyone without thinking, ‘She’s probably pretty good at sex.’ “