The feminist blog offered $10,000 in exchange for unretouched photographs of the Girls star and creator from the high-fashion magazine spread. And they received six allegedly unaltered images of Dunham within two hours of the original story being posted.
"Lena Dunham is a woman who trumpets body positivity, who's unabashedly feminist, who has said that her naked body is 'a realistic expression of what it's like to be alive' and 'if you are not into me, that's your problem,' editor Jessica Coen explained in the first article about the photographs snapped by Annie Leibovitz. "Her body is real. She is real. And for as lovely as the Vogue pictures are, they're probably not terribly real."
One example they are quick to point out in the original story: The "conspicuous absence" of the New York native's arm in a snapshot of Dunham, clad in a sequined strapless dress, sprawled out on a bed with costar Adam Driver.
Coen attempts to make it clear that the bounty request was not about seeing what the 27-year-old actress "really looks like" since "we can see that every Sunday night," but more about Vogue and how they handle specific women featured in their mag.
After receiving the unretouched snaps, Coen writes: "As expected, they're great—Lena looks fantastic. Aside from the obvious lighting tweaks that any publication would make, the unretouched images are pretty perfect. Which makes some of the adjustments—slightly narrowing a jaw or raising a waistline—seem that much more unnecessary. Why bother? These slight tweaks, the 'you look great, but you'd look just a little more great if...' stuff is insidious."
Dunham weighed in on Twitter, before the original photographs were published, and responded to a fan's message tweeting "10k? Give it to charity then just order HBO."
She then clearly conveyed her feelings, without addressing the article directly, writing "Some s--t is just too ridiculous to engage. Let's use our energy wisely, 2014."