Opinion: Lena Dunham is Not a Plus Size Ally
Today, The New York Times ran an interview with producer Lena Dunham about her upcoming apparel collaboration with plus size retailer 11 Honore for a high-end fashion line.
The reason for this collaboration is because Dunham, who has been criticized for her past fashion choices, saw what the Times called "a hole in the market." OH REALLY?! Did Dunham recently discover that 70 percent of women can't find clothing in their size? That retailers are moving their plus size lines from retail to online, or removing them entirely?
No. This is a rather personal calling for Dunham: "Right now the only thing I'm doing is speaking about my own experience, so this clothing line is a direct response to my experience," she says to the Times. Right, because Tiny Furniture or "Girls" weren't responses to her experiences that earned her international recognition that many talented but less connected people are denied.
Despite Dunham's multiple interviews throughout the years eschewing the plus size phrase, her recent health issues have made her more sympathetic to the body positivity movement. According to the story, she had to steroids to help her partial adrenal insufficiently (a side effect of COVID-19).
Still, when the news of her collaboration with 11 Honore broke, the feedback wasn't so welcoming. Many critics have referred to allegations of abuse regarding her sister in her autobiography, or her denial of an actor's sexual assault, as reasons not to support this collaboration. Then there are those who resent her newest platform in fashion category she refused to aligned herself with. But as she says in the interview, the 11 Honore clothing line is a direct response to her not finding suitable clothing. You know, like 70 percent of women in the U.S. have experienced for years.
If Dunham was truly filling a void in the plus size retail market, why didn't she use her celebrity to empower a new plus size designer for this collaboration? Because it was never about the plus size community. It's about her.