Feminist Lena Dunham injected her thoughts on feminism and the gender binary into a conversation about a women’s magazine labeling fellow comedian Amy Schumer as “plus-size,” calling for media to “remove the labels” and celebrate different bodies, races, and “gender identities.”
Speaking to E! News at a media event for the Hollywood Reporter’s 35 Most Powerful People in Media Event on Thursday, the star of HBO’s Girls stood up for her friend Amy Schumer, who was labeled as “plus-size” by Glamour magazine.
After Schumer was mentioned on the cover of a “Chic At Any Size” special edition of the magazine alongside plus-size women Melissa McCarthy, Adele, and model Ashley Graham, the Trainwreck star grumbled that Glamour was sending the wrong message to “young girls.”
Glamour “put me in their plus size only issue without asking or letting me know and it doesn’t feel right to me,” Schumer complained on Instagram. She added: “Young girls seeing my body type thinking that is plus size? What are your thoughts? Mine are not cool glamour not glamourous.”
According to Dunham, women’s publications need to do a better job at accurately portraying women — even those who don’t necessarily identify as women.
Amid a contentious debate online about what constitutes as “plus-size,” Dunham weighed in Thursday by telling E! that magazines — and indeed all mediums — need to remove “labels” from women, including women varying gender identities. Dunham said:
I think what Amy was really saying was just like let’s remove the labels and she was just saying like why do you have to categorize our bodies even if it’s in the context of ‘Let’s celebrate these women who are different,’ because the fact is every [magazine] issue should be an issue that contains a multitude of bodies and a multitude of races and a multitude of gender identities.
Dunham concluded: “Women—people should be able to recognize themselves in the media that they watch.”
Glamour, meanwhile, released a statement claiming it did not label Schumer, and had simply featured her in the special edition because it found her inspiring.
“First off, we love Amy, and our readers do too—which is why we featured her on the cover of Glamour last year,” reads the statement. “The cover line on this special edition—which is aimed at women size 12 and up—simply says ‘Women Who Inspire Us,’ since we believe her passionate and vocal message of body positivity IS inspiring, as is the message of the many other women, of all sizes, featured. The edition did not describe her as plus-size. We are sorry if we offended her in any way.”