"My fears came true: people called me fat and hideous, and I lived. And now I keep on living." — Lena Dunham
Lena Dunham has always seemed rather comfortable bearing it all in front of the camera.
From her countless nude/underwear scenes on "Girls" to her commitment to sharing unedited photos on Instagram, she certainly appears to be confident about her body. It wasn't an easy journey; it took years of wading through numerous insecurities for her to get to where she is today.
A photo posted by Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) on
"When I got out of college I thought, 'What am I gonna do? No one's gonna hire me, I'm a fat girl,'" she told People in 2014.
Of course, that turned out to be the furthest thing from the truth.
Dunham is now modeling for body-positive lingerie brand Lonely Lingerie alongside her "Girls" co-star Jemima Kirke.
Wearing lingerie can be an incredibly vulnerable experience, but the New Zealand-based lingerie brand is all about changing that perception.
Most lingerie (and the ads for it) are designed for what's known as the "male gaze." They feature heavy airbrushing, complicated hooks and ties and underwires, and models in uncomfortable, awkward poses. While lots of women might want to wear lingerie, many don't feel like they can for any number of reasons: They have the "wrong" body type, it's too complicated, it's not comfortable, it's not designed for them, the list goes on.
Lonely Lingerie wants lingerie to be freeing and empowering, something that women wear as "a love letter to themselves" rather than a gift for a spectator to enjoy.
It's refreshing to see Dunham and Kirke wearing lingerie for themselves because they want to wear it, posing with cellulite and tattoos and belly rolls and looking totally casual and comfortable.
Dunham and Kirke might be the highest-profile models in Lonely Lingerie's new campaign, but they aren't the only ones.
Here are nine other photos from the campaign, showcasing inspiring women wearing lingerie for themselves.
Just like the photos of Dunham and Kirke, the other photos in the series are unretouched and not meant for the male gaze. The women in them are successful and confident, posing in environments in which they feel comfortable.
1. Meet Hannah, an early childhood care student from Melbourne, Australia.
2. Meet India, a house painter and surfer from Auckland, New Zealand.
3. Meet Alice, an artist in her home in New York City.
4. Meet Erica from Far North, New Zealand. "I was interested in being a part of this project because women need to see each other and be seen as we are."
5. Meet Nicole and bubba Beau from Auckland.
6. Meet Anna, a fine arts student from Auckland.
7. Meet Ruth, Grace, Bridget, and Bonnie. "We go together like butter & bread, there's a whole lot of love."
8. Meet Anja, designer for Lonely Lingerie, and her dog Hank.
9. Meet Isa, a soul singer from New York City.
Now more than ever, we need to embrace every ripple of who we are, inside and out — not just in ourselves, but in others as well.
As Dunham writes on her blog: "This body is the only one I have. I love it for what it's given me. I hate it for what it's denied me. And now, without further ado, I want to be able to pick my own thigh out of a lineup."