People Really Do Too Much with Lena Dunham

This week, Jezebel offered $10,000 for the un-retouched photos from Lena Dunham’s Vogue photo shoot. Apparently, somebody just got a nice check in the mail, because the photos were published on the website this morning (in GIF form, no less), with annotations marking what exact edits were made to the photos.

Seriously?

I get that there has been this big stink about Lena Dunham’s looks ever since she burst onto the scene with Girls (shameless plug: I just wrote a post about my shameful love of that show on my other blog When Things Go Pop!), from her tattoos to all of the nudity on her show. At the end of the day, it’s quite obvious to everyone that Lena Dunham is not a supermodel, nor does she even try to pass herself off as one. However, when she tries, she can actually pull off a glamorous look. Even though it could’ve been a different color, I liked her dress at the Golden Globes last weekend. And her Vogue pictures are really good.

So why would anyone go through the trouble of trying to prove that she is a physical mess?

I would be supremely insulted if someone actually paid money to get unretouched photos of myself, in an effort to prove that the magazine needed to edit me. Newsflash: everyone is Photoshopped to look their best. It’s really not that big of a deal. And in the specific case of Lena Dunham, everyone knows who Lena Dunham is and what she looks like, so it’s not like Vogue was trying to hide anything.

Lena Dunham looked great in Vogue; let her live!

– B

When Did Forbes Become a Thing?

I wouldn’t be an honest ego if I didn’t admit to checking our blog stats every day.

Like seriously, every day.

And by an large the most popular post we’ve written in the last three weeks was about Forbes’s article about twenty-somethings and why we suck at life.

OK, technically it’s just tips about how to better manage your post-graduate life, but still, we do kind of suck at life, at least I do, considering how many things I’ve actually been doing wrong (you can check that post here).

But who knew Forbes, the magazine I know for publishing the wealthiest celebrity list that gets all of the fanbases in a tizzy, would capture the attention of my generation so easily?

It turns out that Forbes actually has some amazing articles that are and aren’t about twenty-somethings. Yesterday, when I was doing nothing at work, I decided to peruse the website more. I figured I would find a bunch of financial junk that would bore me to tears, but I found some really fascinating articles, like one describing in detail how Connecticut fell into destitution (particularly interesting since I just left CT). Sure there are also boring financial articles around (or not boring, if you’re into that kind of thing), but it is really surprising how relevant I found Forbes to be to my life. Maybe it’s because I’m just starting my professional career, or that the direction of the articles have changed from the past, but I am definitely enjoying popping by their website once or twice a day.

I would definitely recommend reading an article or two to see what you think.

The Boston Bomber Rolling Stone Cover: An Overreaction?

So a couple of days ago, I attended the Council of PR Firms’ Internfest event, where one of the presenters marked some trends he’s noticed in marketing. One of them was consumer sensitivity, which I took to mean that people, when presented with material that could be even slightly provocative, will react very strongly, usually in a negative manner.

There is no better case study right now than the new Rolling Stone cover on newsstands this week, featuring Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving suspect of the Boston Marathon bombings.

The magazine, for a feature story that I will certainly be reading on my iPad over the weekend, used a self-portrait of Tsarnaev. Some media have noted his shaggy hair and goatee, insinuating that the magazine placed the bombing suspect on the same level as a brooding rock star.

As you would probably expect, the cover has incited outrage and demands for boycotts. Some retailers have heard the call: CVS, Kmart, Walgreens, and more are refusing to sell the magazine with the bomber on the cover.

The obvious question here, is it really in bad taste, and are people overreacting?

I don’t believe that RS was trying to offend anyone with their cover, or glorify him in any light. I think the point of using that selfie was to show the very real possibility of a seemingly normal teenager diving into a place so dark and twisted that it led him to commit a truly evil act. And I didn’t just make that up. It’s literally on the cover.

I think that this is a classic case of judging a book (or in this case, magazine) by its cover. It’s also a sign of how image-reliant we have become as a generation, that common sense and, worst of all, subtext falls to the wayside.

I placed a poll up, so please either vote or share your thoughts in the comments.

– B