‘It’s Verbal Violence!’ Lena Dunham On Body-Shaming On Twitter

'It's Verbal Violence!' Lena Dunham On Body-Shaming On Twitter


by Emma Spedding |
Published on

In the same week that Gigi Hadid posted an open letter about body-shaming on Instagram, Lena Dunham has called the comments she gets online "verbal violence."

Last week Lena posted a picture on Instagram of her wearing her boyfriend Jack Antonoff's Calvins. Lena said in a podcast on Re/code of the abusive comments she received on the image: 'I thought it was funny, I had to wear my boyfriend's underwear because my dog literally ate all my underpants. It wasn't a graphic picture—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.'

Lena continued: 'I had two feelings: a) I don't want to share my space like this, but b) The teenage girls who come to my page because they want to see what I'm reading or see a picture of my weird underwear eating dog or see what Jenny in my office looks like – I don't want them seeing a picture of me in my boyfriend's boxers and then be told I'm obese and anyone who looks like me is repulsive and I deserve to be dragged around and smacked.'

Following the abuse she receives on social media Lena said she no longer manages her own Twitter. 'I don't look at Twitter anymore. I tweet, but I do it through someone else. I don't even know my Twitter password, which may make me seem like I'm no longer a genuine community user.

'I really appreciate that anybody follows me at all, so I didn't want to cut off my relationship to it completely, but it truly wasn't a safe space for me. I think even if you think you can separate yourself from the kind of verbal violence that's being directed at you, that it creates some really kind of cancerous stuff inside you, even if you think, "Oh I can read like 10 mentions that say I should be stoned to death." That's verbal abuse. Those aren't words you'd accept in an interpersonal relationship. […] For me, personally, it was safer to stop.'

But she is still logged into her own Instagram explaining: 'It's a more positive community. It's really immediate. I take a picture, I post it, I move on.'

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us