“Scandal” star Kerry Washington recently posted a photo on her Instagram account that looks nothing like her.
Interestingly, the picture happens to be the cover of the Adweek magazine, which has been edited to such an extent that the actress looks completely unrecognizable with skin color much lighter than her own.
So...You know me. I'm not one to be quiet about a magazine cover. I always celebrate it when a respected publication invites me to grace their pages. It's an honor. And a privilege. And ADWEEK is no exception. I love ADWEEK. It's a publication I appreciate. And learn from. I've long followed them on Twitter. And when they invited me to do a cover, I was excited and thrilled. And the truth is, I'm still excited. I'm proud of the article. And I like some of the inside images a great deal. But, I have to be honest...I was taken aback by the cover. Look, I'm no stranger to Photoshopping. It happens a lot. In a way, we have become a society of picture adjusters - who doesn't love a filter?!? And I don't always take these adjustments to task but I have had the opportunity to address the impact of my altered image in the past and I think it's a valuable conversation. Yesterday, however, I just felt weary. It felt strange to look at a picture of myself that is so different from what I look like when I look in the mirror. It's an unfortunate feeling. That being said. You all have been very kind and supportive. Also, as I've said, I'm very proud of the article. There are a few things we discussed in the interview that were left out. Things that are important to me (like: the importance of strong professional support and my awesome professional team) and I've been thinking about how to discuss those things with anyone who is interested, in an alternate forum. But until then...Grab this week's ADWEEK. Read it. I hope you enjoy it. And thank you for being patient with me while I figured out how to post this in a way that felt both celebratory and honest. XOXOXOX
In the post, while Washington expressed her love for the magazine and encouraged readers to go ahead and pick up the latest edition, she also made it clear that she was not happy with the way she was Photoshopped to look like someone completely different.
Washington added that the interview also did not include the important things she spoke about.
Read: Is Vogue’s Strong Stance On Diversity Too Little, Too Late?
Interestingly, magazines don’t seem to learn from their previous mistakes, and this is certainly not the first time a publication has been called out for something like this.
W Magazine had a cover photo featured Kiernan Shipka, Zendaya and Willow Smith. However, the celebrities’ faces were washed out so much that they appeared almost like zombies. Twitter users called out the magazine for altering their skin colors.
Moreover, Zendaya used her Instagram account to illustrate how one of her images for Modeliste magazine had been edited so much that it created an “unrealistic body type.”
Allure Magazine has also been part of this nonsense, attracting of wrath of internet users when it used a white woman for an afro tutorial.
It is indeed about time that magazines featured actresses and models as they are, if they wish to use them for their cover photos. It is absolutely wrong that they edit and Photoshop celebrity’s images to suit themselves and create unrealistic beauty standards.
If these magazines really wish to come across as racially inclusive, and do use models with darker skin, they shouldn’t be lightening their skin tones or manipulate their bodies to match a certain “standard.”
These magazines need to do away with the concept of “sex sells” and rather teach the upcoming generations to own their body, regardless of how it is, instead of setting beauty benchmarks and making people feel like they don’t fit in just because they don’t match a certain criteria.