This is our kind of before-and-after photo.
Before-and-after posts are nothing new in the age of Instagram. But the always-candid Lena Dunham just showed us a celebrity’s perspective of how images that spotlight weight loss and gain usually don’t convey the whole story.
On Tuesday, the Girls creator and actress made a side-by-side collage with two photos: one of herself at 138 pounds and another that was taken more recently, when she weighed in at 162 pounds.
Then she described how her each different weight affected her on a day-to-day basis.
“On the left: 138 pounds, complimented all day and propositioned by men and on the cover of a tabloid about diets that work,” she said, admitting, “Also, sick in the tissue and in the head and subsisting only on small amounts of sugar, tons of caffeine and a purse pharmacy.”
Dunham’s weight has made headlines for years. In this new post, she’s taking the focus off what the scale says and putting it on something a lot more important: her happiness.
“On the right: 162 pounds, happy joyous & free, complimented only by people that matter for reasons that matter, subsisting on a steady flow of fun/healthy snacks and apps and entrees, strong from lifting dogs and spirits,” she wrote, detailing the newer photo.
Though she’s known for embracing her body no matter what she weighs, Dunham said she’s also been susceptible to body image issues.
“Even this OG body positivity warrior sometimes looks at the left picture longingly, until I remember the impossible pain that brought me there and onto my proverbial knees,” she said. “As I type I can feel my back fat rolling up under my shoulder blades. I lean in.”
From bearing it all on camera to detailing her harrowing ordeal undergoing a hysterectomy brought on by her painful battle with endometriosis, we can count on Dunham to share her vulnerabilities.
Before-and-after weight loss photos are often celebrated, but these explore the not-so-healthy side of achieving what some call their “goal weight.” The goal here should be a happy, full life—not one filled with restrictions.