The New York Times just called Lena Dunham fat http://t.co/JPRUJNRbhF
— Huffington Post (@HuffingtonPost) September 25, 2013
Here’s what New York Times fashion writer Ruth La Ferla actually wrote:
Ms. Danes … turn[ed] out in a Giorgio Armani tulle confection that showed off an ethereal, if slightly skeletal, frame. What Ms. Danes lacked in pulchritude, Lena Dunham of “Girls” supplied in abundance, wearing a coral-rose-patterned Prada gown that (somewhat sloppily) showed off her curves.
Never fear. HuffPo editorial fellow (how sexist) Lauren Duca gets her Naomi Wolf on to defend the vulnerable celebs.
The contrastingly blatant fattism we see in La Ferla’s commentary is nothing new. Lena Dunham’s body is far from the Hollywood ideal, and as a strong, feminist woman in the spotlight, she is a prime target for all sorts of shaming … especially the fat kind. The point is that this sort of observation has absolutely no place in a red carpet writeup, and is especially disturbing coming from such an esteemed publication.
The juxtaposition with the “skeletal” Claire Danes further highlights the conspicuous cattiness of La Ferla’s analysis. Fat-shaming is unacceptable, as is thin-shaming. La Ferla is discussing both bodies in a way that is especially problematic, and the empirical size of the women is irrelevant. The act of drawing attention to a woman’s shape is cruel and offensive. Not to mention the pragmatic issue with the comparison: if Claire is too skinny and Lena is too fat, can women just not win?
I can’t help but wonder what George Carlin would say about this.