Right on time with the news that the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute will be changing its name to the Anna Wintour Costume Center, the editrix’s publication has come out with its pre-packaged controversy cover with Lena Dunham photographed by Annie Leibovitz.
Only problem? There’s absolutely no problem.
We know that the tendency here is to add another think piece log onto the Lena Dunham/GIRLS bonfire, but we’re just tapped, sorry-not-sorry. It scared us too, how blank we felt: Shouldn’t we be mounting our 1,500-word defense against the haters of how beautiful she looks, and how she totally deserves to be on the cover of Vogue because of shifting cultural perceptions on the nature of beauty and/or because she’s a young, female trendsetter?
Were we just getting writer’s block? Were we over-thinking it? Is this just part of our now-traditional, mid-January GIRLS critical whiplash fatigue? (Definitely all of the above.) But Nathan Heller’s article already presents a pretty cohesive argument (if you still needed it) for Ms. Dunham’s relevance in this specific publication:
In addition to tracking the fashion world closely, she’s become a kind of spokesperson for young women who want to express themselves stylishly but with personal whimsy, and a vocal critic of the stereotype that fashion belongs only to a tiny group of superslender people terrified of breaking rules. For almost as long as Dunham’s work has been in the public eye, she’s spoken openly and often about her body type, pointing out that not every strong and enviable woman on the air must resemble a runway model.
The Vogue cover is great; Lena Dunham looks great. What this means for the future of society? We’ll leave that to the experts.