Lena Dunham has shared some before and after photos as a way to celebrate a recent weight gain. The star is embracing a 24-pound weight gain, admitting that when she was thinner she subsisted on “small amounts of sugar,” “a lot of caffeine” and a “purse pharmacy.”
On the left: 138 pounds, complimented all day and propositioned by men and on the cover of a tabloid about diets that work. Also, sick in the tissue and in the head and subsisting only on small amounts of sugar, tons of caffeine and a purse pharmacy. On the right: 162 pounds, happy joyous & free, complimented only by people that matter for reasons that matter, subsisting on a steady flow of fun/healthy snacks and apps and entrees, strong from lifting dogs and spirits. Even this OG body positivity warrior sometimes looks at the left picture longingly, until I remember the impossible pain that brought me there and onto my proverbial knees. As I type I can feel my back fat rolling up under my shoulder blades. I lean in.
Lena Dunham has opened up about her struggles with eating disorders in the past. She discussed this at length in her book Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s Learned. The former writer/director/star of Girls said that it was actually doing nude scenes that provided her with more acceptance of her body. When she first started doing nude scenes she was highly criticized by people for not being a model type, but it was actually that criticism that gave her the freedom to accept herself.
“I think I radicalized my relationship to my own body in order to accept it. To make my body a prop in my work gave it a value I didn’t feel it had before. People called me fat and hideous, and I lived. And now I keep living.”
She has explained that it has been very hard for her to discuss her habits with food publicly, but that she feels that secrets are destructive so she’d rather feel vulnerable, than keep them inside. Naturally, her openness about her life on so many levels has been very relatable to women and men.
Dunham is also in the process of recovering from a hysterectomy that she had this year due to a battle with endometriosis. She had previously undergone surgeries to try and alleviate the pain but they didn’t work, so eventually, she had to turn to a more extreme surgery. The star has always been open about her thoughts and process along the way.
Thank you for all the love & concern that's been pouring in since Tuesday. Although I'm much healthier than I was a year ago, complications arose from my most recent endometriosis surgery. When the healthcare of so many American women, especially our trans sisters, is at-risk- or already nonexistent- I am lucky to be in the position to seek help when I'm in pain. To those in that privileged spot- never forget that we are blessed and can pay it forward by supporting Planned Parenthood and LGBTQ clinics like Callen-Lorde with our ? and ⌚️. I also want to remind all the women suffering from chronic illness that we aren't weak- quite the opposite, actually. We do our jobs with skill even when we're struggling. We care for our families even when we can hardly care for ourselves. We serve major face on a red carpet when we feel like lying face down would be more appropriate. I'll always be proud of those Met Gala pics- not just because I felt beautiful, surrounded by art and magic, hugging my best friend tightly, but because they're evidence that women contain steely multitudes. Just that morning @dianafalzone sued Fox after they took her off air for disclosing her endometriosis. But they're the ones who lost when they lost her, because everyone who's anyone knows that if you can battle chronic illness there's nothing you can't take on.
Your body failing you is a loss that’s hard to explain and yet the amount of messages I’ve gotten from women in a similar predicament has been so overwhelming, loving and heartening. More than 20 million women in America are living with hysterectomies and those of you who’ve shared your plight and perseverance make me feel so honored to be in your company. Thank you to the village of women who took care of me through this entire process. I have a broken heart and I hear those don’t mend overnight, but we are linked forever by this experience and our refusal to let it hold any of us back from even the grandest dreams.
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