Lena Dunham has never been quiet when it comes to dealing with endometriosis and the struggles and pain that have come with the chronic illness. But nearly a year after opening up about the scary decision to get a hysterectomy, the actress is pushing past her biggest fears and labeling herself “sick” with a new tattoo.
The 32-year-old took to her Instagram to post a photo of the new ink from Brooklyn-based tattoo studio Haven Studio, which reads “sick” in lasso-rope font.
“Sometimes the thing you’re most scared of being called is the best thing you can call yourself,” she wrote. “Thank you Haven Studio for labeling me...and to my sisters in this dizzying but starry slog - I am lasso’d to you!”
And while Dunham’s friend Kat Dennings showed her support by commenting, “Reclaim dat!” many others seem to not understand what Dunham believes is the positive side of labeling herself because of her ailments.
“I don’t get what’s cool about that. Why would you label yourself sick even if you have health problems,” one person wrote. “Accepting the fact that you have problems with health and being understanding and still happy about that and label yourself sick when you can start acting like real sick and be miserable about that doesn’t make sense. I’m lost!”
“I have always been a fan, but I don’t know about this. I have arthritis. I have fibromyalgia. I have endometriosis (I had a hysterectomy 2 years ago because of it). But would I label myself ‘sick’? No,” another stated. “I am not what happened to me. I am what I become. Move on, Lena. Move. On.”
Others who commented were a bit more empathetic, such as one follower who assured, “You’re so much more than this!”
“I’m speaking as someone with serious and rare health problems,” the follower continued. “We all deal in our own way so I hope this helps you. There are so many other words I would put first because you are amazing!!!”
Still, a few people poked fun at the tattoo, suggesting that they should get their own that publicize their own not-so-glamorous chronic illnesses, like irritable bowel syndrome.
It isn’t the first time that Dunham suggested reclaiming her painful illness — in which tissue that typically lines the inside of one’s uterus instead grows on the outside — with some permanent ink. On Sunday, the actress posted a photo of her stomach with markings that indicated each of the 12 surgeries that she’s undergone for her endometriosis in the past as a part of her friend’s campaign #thisisendometriosis.
Dunham said that the photo was posted in part of a larger effort to bring awareness to the illness.
“Should I just go for it and make these lines permanent?” she asked.
And although it’s not exactly what she ended up getting tattooed, the “sick” ink seems to definitely be inspired by that post.
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