Lena Dunham Opens Up About Struggling with Rosacea and Acne
In a recent Lenny Letter, body-pos actress writes about developing the skin condition in her 30s—and coming to terms with her newfound insecurity.
Throughout her career, Lena Dunham has fought against pressure to conform to the typical Hollywood mold. After multiple Photoshop incidents, she pledged to no longer pose for photos that will be retouched. She later called out Us Weekly, making it crystal clear that she's no one's weight-loss cover girl. But Dunham shared with the world that although she's been consistent in combating all kinds of comments about her body, she's not 100 percent in love with herself every second of the day. In a recent Lenny Letter, the actress wrote about developing rosacea in her 30s and being hit with newfound insecurity.
In the essay, Lena admits that she had never been too self-conscious about her body, and it's thanks to that "preposterously high self-esteem," that she was able to let comments about her weight from high school assholes, Twitter trolls, and professional TV critics roll right off her back. But when she recently developed rosacea from doing a course of steroids for joint pain, her confidence faltered. She realized that her gorgeous skin (see: her makeup-free selfie) had actually been a source of pride.
"I had finally found my vanity," she writes. "Seven years of being treated in the public eye like a punch line about female imperfection may not have felt like it was wearing me down, but it had actually forced me to rely emotionally on my one area of fully conventional beauty: my perfect f***ing skin. They could tag me in a picture of a beached whale. They could call me a bag of cottage cheese. But they couldn't take away the fact that I was able to eat seven slices of pizza, a wine spritzer, and three-quarters of a chocolate cake and still look like my face was kissed by sweet, sweet angels when I woke up."
If you've ever dealt with adult acne, which is a lot more common than you think, or a skin condition like rosacea, Lena's description of her wavering self-esteem and desperation to clear her skin likely hits home. But her broader point applies to anyone: Even the most self-loving person isn't immune to feeling bad about themselves. And you don't have to keep it bottled up when you're not feeling yourself in the name of self-love.
"'I don't give a shit' only translates into isolation," she writes. "It prevents the people who love you from reaching out their hand to remind you of what's real."