Kerry Washington is this week’s cover girl in the latest issue of Adweek, and although she’s highly appreciative of gracing the cover of yet another publication—there is one problem: she wasn’t pleased with how her cover picture was photoshopped. Because, well, she looks a few shades lighter and doesn’t look like her true self.
The Scandal star recently took to Instagram to share her distaste with the way she was portrayed. “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,” Washington wrote. “It’s an unfortunate feeling.”
In the longwinded caption she went on to thank Adweek for the cover, and even encouraged fans to buy the magazine; but she also stated how she wanted to voice her appreciation for having amazing co-workers and a strong professional support. Apparently, that part of the interview was edited out.
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
As she mentioned on the Instagram post, this isn’t the first time Washington has had a gripe, or has been involved in some controversy over a magazine cover. Back in March of 2015, her InStyle cover caused a nation wide debate over how light her skin appeared. The backlash caused the fashion publication to release a statement regarding the issue; one which Washington co-signed because it opened the door for a much needed conversation about skin whitening for women of color.
— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) February 5, 2015
Adweek has not yet commented on the cover. What are your thoughts on Washington’s recent statements, and on the issue of light skin vs dark skin and how it’s portrayed in the media? Sound-off below.