Lena Dunham Thinks the Body-Positive Movement Has Room for Improvement

While introducing her debut clothing line with 11 Honoré, Dunham reflected on how the body-positive movement has its own ideal body type.

Lena Dunham, known for her candid disposition about body image, has shared her insights into the shortcomings of the body-positive movement in a recent discussion with the New York Times. While promoting her latest clothing line with 11 Honoré, Dunham pointed out that the movement tends to favor certain physical attributes over others. "The issue with the body positive movement," she said, "is that it can serve as an advantage only to those few who naturally possess the kind of body that society deems positivity-worthy." She further added, "We seem to appreciate bodies that appear as slightly larger versions of Kim Kardashian. We desire ample backsides and sizable bosoms, devoid of cellulite, and faces that could be easily substituted onto leaner women." As someone possessing a "large stomach", Dunham confessed she often feels alienated from this rigid representation. This viewpoint is reflective of a regular critique of the body-positive movement: it enables individuals closest to the conventional beauty standards to celebrate their bodies, while ignoring those on the fringes. (This also raises the question of why discussions around body positivity should invariably include racism.)

Lena Dunham shared with the New York Times her personal encounters with body shaming, showing surprise over how frequently she receives comments about her weight from women who have similar body types. Commenting on her fashion choices, she mentioned that designer outfits she has worn in the past have been ridiculed or heavily criticized, prompting her to question whether a more conventional fashion figure would have received praise for wearing the same outfit. The launch of her line with 11 Honoré was announced in an Instagram post, where she expressed her desire to design clothes that don't force plus-size women to hide their bodies. The collection includes five pieces: a basic white tank top, a button-down shirt, a long floral dress, and a blazer and skirt set which Lena wanted to add to the collection due to her own difficulties in finding miniskirts that don't ride up.

In typical fashion, Dunham brought up some thought-provoking points while introducing her debut clothing line. You can rest assured it wasn't created with the persistent body standards that Dunham's referred to — or expectations about what plus-size people "should" wear — in mind.

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