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Why Jezebel's 'Bounty' For Unretouched Lena Dunham Images Is Seriously Misguided

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VOGUE COVER
VOGUE/Annie leibovitz

Lena Dunham's long-awaited Vogue cover debuted yesterday and the Internet, being the Internet, was a frenzy.

Many (predictably) speculated over what parts of the actress' body had been hacked away at, which parts airbrushed, etc. Agreeing to grace the cover, we're sure Dunham expected the chatter. After all, it was just last week, three whole seasons into "Girls," a reporter from The Wrap asked Dunham about her frequent nudity on the show, explaining that he just "didn't get it."

But in an effort to shame Vogue editors for the photoshopping job, Jezebel has gone one step further -- by placing a "bounty" on Dunham's original, undoctored photos. You know, the fat ones.

The $10,000 cash reward, which will be given to anyone who can produce said photos, seems to have come from a well-intentioned and body conscious place. "This is about Vogue, and what Vogue decides to do with a specific woman who has very publicly stated that she's fine just the way she is, and the world needs to get on board with that," the article states. But, frankly, it's more than a little bit misguided and proves that Tim Molloy of The Wrap isn't the only one who just "doesn't get it."

Does anyone place bounties for untouched photos from the Gwyneth Paltrows or Nicole Kidmans of the world? No, because it simply wouldn't be as fun for Jezebel editors to place such traditionally attractive women under the same microscope, dissecting the before and afters of a Vogue treatment.

Just because Dunham is a young feminist who speaks confidently about her "real body" does not mean we get to qualify her statements with an inappropriate cash prize. By hoping to publicize Dunham's original Vogue photos, Jezebel may end up shaming the actress more than the magazine whose photoshopping practices they hope to expose.

And it's safe to say Dunham is actually quite proud of her Vogue spread. Doesn't she have a right to be? If Dunham wanted to release such photos, wouldn't she do so herself? Or at the very least call upon Vogue to do so?

The Internet has the right to be as up in arms whenever it chooses to be. But Jezebel's cash incentive hopes to incite readers with relentless antagonism and further unnecessary examination of Dunham's body. I like pageviews just as much as everyone else employed by the Internet, but Dunham simply doesn't owe us this.