Lena Dunham Says Quarantine Has Brought Back Feelings of ‘Self-Loathing’ About Her Body

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  • Lena Dunham
    Lena Dunham
    American actress

Lena Dunham/Instagram Lena Dunham

Lena Dunham thought that she was past her body image issues, but over the many months of the pandemic she says she’s starting to feel that “self-loathing” return.

The actress and writer, 34, opened up on Instagram about struggling with the pressure to lose weight during quarantine.

“You know I’ve been thinking a lot about my pot belly in quarantine — especially as I notice an unusual amount of articles with titles like ‘how I lost the weight’ and ‘diet is everything.’ Are there more of them or do I just have more time to notice?” she asked. “Somehow, headlines that used to roll off my flesh rolls sting in a new way — not because I think that’s the body I’m meant to have, but because it feels like it’s adding yet another item to the epic to-do list we are all creating for ourselves in COVID.”

Dunham said that the focus on losing weight “somehow feels like a personal assault.”

“Growing up chubby, fat, thicc, whatever you wanna call it — I always felt my body was a sign that read ‘I’m lazy and I have done less.’ Like if I just found the will to invest 30% more I could be okay,” she said.

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Though the Girls star had moved past some of those body worries from her youth, she said they started to pop back up in recent months.

“Over the years, as my body guided me through my career and illness and disability, I started to appreciate what it was capable of. But somehow, this pandemic time has brought back some of those old feelings of self-loathing and I think it all comes back to that damned to-do list, the one that started when we went into lockdown,” she said.

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Dunham said that she feels like she should be clearing out her fridge for healthier foods and “emerging from quarantine with a revenge body.”

“Why, after all these years spent fostering self-love, do I still feel like weight loss is an item for my to-do?”

She then asked her followers to chime in on if they’re feeling the same pressure to lose weight.

“Please share with me in the comments,” she said. “I’ll be reading faithfully from right here in this bikini top.”

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Dunham recently opened up about another body struggle — her attempts to have a baby through in vitro fertilization. She told PEOPLE in November that she was working with a doctor who believed he could harvest some of her eggs for IVF, even though she had her cervix, uterus and one ovary removed three years ago due to her chronic endometriosis.

However, she learned in May that her eggs were not viable, and it would not be possible for her to have biological children.

"This journey has forced me to rethink what motherhood will look like," Dunham told PEOPLE. "IVF destroyed my body — as a woman who tends towards rampant endometriosis, filling my body with estrogen ... and because of what my body has been through, subjecting it to such excruciating pain, only to come to the end and learn those eggs were not viable after working so hard through illness and discomfort and going through anxiety and depression, it is just clearly not something I can ever repeat."

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Instead, Dunham is going to try to adopt.

“Whether it's adoption or foster-to-adopt, I love the idea of becoming a mother in the way that's right for me, and I'm committed to it,” she said.