Her nose is elegantly narrow, though I have no idea whether that was a result of surgery, and her eyebrows are distinct and well-shaped, though artifice undoubtedly played a role there.
Here's a better picture of her:
Knightley has made the most of what she has simply by staying thin. Because she's thin, her eyes are large, her cheekbones are prominent, and her jawline is well-defined. And that's often what beauty boils down to.
Roughly 75% of people -- both men and women -- would look good if they were the right weight. That means carving themselves down to perfection. The reason Knightley's face is so beautiful is because she's kept her body looking like this:
Now, that body may not suit everyone's taste. But it's that lack of fat that makes Knightley's face so beautiful.
Unfortunately, it's not that easy to lose weight. It seems that we all have a certain number of fat cells, and all we can do is starve them, not lose them. This is why 90% of people who lose a lot of weight end up gaining it all back within a year. Evidently, the number of fat cells is set in childhood and adolescence, and after that it never varies.
“I was sitting next to Odell Beckham Jr., and it was so amazing because it was like he looked at me and he determined I was not the shape of a woman by his standards....He was like: ‘That’s a marshmallow. That’s a child. That’s a dog.’ It wasn’t mean. He just seemed confused.”
In Ms. Dunham’s imagination, the grid star’s “vibe” seemed to suggest he was thinking, “Do I want to have sex with it?” (she used an earthier term for “sex,” and yes, she said “it”).
Beckham evidently committed the unpardonable sin of not paying her any attention. (Don't feminists normally protest that men pay them too much attention?)
Dunham later walked her comments back. Which still leaves the question, what did Beckham think? It's doubtful that he confused her with a child or a dog. But Dunham is shaped a bit like a marshmallow, or at least as if she eats her share of them. To the extent that Beckham even noticed her, that was probably his vague impression, even if that wasn't precisely the metaphor he would have used.
Dunham frequently poses for photographs in provocatively revealing outfits. Is she mocking herself? Or is she boldly informing the world, this is what you should be attracted to if you weren't all so taken with your outdated concepts of female beauty? She's probably doing a bit of both.
Now, this may sound sacrilegious to people who read this blog, given Dunham's personality and political stances, but she would in fact be beautiful.....if she were skinny. Not skinny, as in, she'd look better if she lost 10 or 20 pounds. But skinny as in, Keira Knightley skinny.
Look at this picture --
Then imagine what would happen if she wore lipstick to make her mouth appear larger, as Knightley does, and had her eyebrows professionally plucked, shaped, and enhanced, the way Knightley has. (Her nose would still be a little wide, but that's nothing a rhinoplasty couldn't fix.)
Look at this picture from a Vanity Fair shoot:
It's telling that they shot her from a slightly high angle, so as to hide her second chin. But other than the mouth-widening lipstick, she's had the Knightley treatment here. And if the fat were sculpted from her face and body, she might look like Keira's sister.
I know it's a stretch, but use your imagination.
A better example of the difference weight makes is to look at what happens to faces when people get fat. Remember what Val Kilmer used to look like?
This is what he looked like more recently:
The cheekbones have disappeared, the eyes have gotten smaller, and the jawline is indistinct. And he's unrecognizable.
Fat loss always seems to be defined by how many pounds you lost, and what size clothing you can now fit into. But it's always more fascinating to see what effect it has on the face.
Now that we've established that there's a skinny beauty trapped inside Lena Dunham, here's a more interesting question: if Dunham's parents had raised her on the paleo diet, and she had far fewer fat cells, and had grown up looking somewhat like Keira Knightley, what effect would that have had on her personality?
And in which direction might it have nudged her politically?