The Girls star, 30, says she never had issues with her own body, but society always has.
“Throughout my teens I was told, in no uncertain terms, that I was f—— funny looking,” she posted on Instagram on Tuesday. “Potbelly, rabbit teeth, knock knees — I could never seem to get it right and it haunted my every move. I posed as the sassy confident one, secretly horrified and hurt by careless comments and hostility.”
“Let’s get something straight: I didn’t hate what I looked like — I hated the culture that was telling me to hate it,” she continues.
Dunham also spoke about being praised for showing her body on Girls — but says she was praised for the wrong reasons.
“When my career started, some people celebrated my look but always through the lens of, ‘Isn’t she brave? Isn’t it such a bold move to show THAT body on TV?'” she writes.
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The actress spoke about receiving “violent threats” and “sickening insults” throughout her acting career, but sees her appearance on Glamour’s cover as an important turning point.
“Well, today this body is on the cover of a magazine that millions of women will read, without photoshop, my thigh on full imperfect display,” says Dunham. “Whether you agree with my politics, like my show or connect to what I do, it doesn’t matter — my body isn’t fair game. No one’s is, no matter their size, color, gender identity, and there’s a place for us all in popular culture to be recognized as beautiful. Haters are gonna have to get more intellectual and creative with their disses in 2017 because none of us are going to be scared into muumuus by faceless basement dwellers, or cruel blogs, or even our partners and friends.”
“Thank you to the women in Hollywood (and on Instagram!) leading the way, inspiring and normalizing the female form in EVERY form, and thank you to @glamourmag for letting my cellulite do the damn thing on news stands everywhere today,” she continued. “Love you all.”