The outspoken 28-year-old, who debuts Season 4 of "Girls" on HBO this Sunday, discussed her take on being famous in the glossy's feature interview and explained how she parlays the attention into awareness of issues she cares about.
"I realized early on that I was not going to be able to have a comfortable relationship with celebrity if I didn't feel like I was using it to talk about things that were important to me," Dunham said.
"It was always going to make me feel gross, for lack of a better word. I was like, 'Oh, this attention is something I'm going to figure out how to use in a way that feels productive, healthy and smart. And not just like as an excuse to collect handbags."
"Although," she added, "I love handbags."
Joining Dunham in the special issue are a slew of newcomers, including "Galavant's" Karen David, "How to Get Away With Murder's" Aja Naomi King, Erin Richards of "Gotham," Gina Rodriguez of "Jane the Virgin," Ruby Rose of "Orange Is the New Black," Alison Sudol of "Dig" and Zhu Zhu of "Marco Polo."
Elle editor-in-chief Robbie Myers will honor the women with an intimate dinner at the Sunset Tower in Los Angeles on Tuesday, the same day the Women in TV issue hits newsstands.
Also among the attendees will be "Scandal" and "How to Get Away With Murder" creator Shonda Rhimes, "Modern Family's"
Last year, the mag gave kudos to Dunham's "Girls" costar Allison Williams, "The Mindy Project" creator/star
Flip through the gallery above to see this year's ladies photographed by Paola Kudacki.