When it comes to natural beauty, Kerry Washington has it in spades; gorgeous full lips, high cheekbones and luminous brown skin. So it’s puzzling that Adweek chose to photoshop the cover girl in a way that made her almost unrecognizable and considerably less attractive.
Washington spoke out about the cover in an Instagram post that was both honest and thoughtful;
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.
Washington’s ‘weariness’ might stem from the fact that this is the third time a magazine has done an egregiously poor job with her cover. The December 2013/January 2014 cover of Lucky magazine and March 2015 issue of InStyle magazine also sparked outrage from Washington’s fans.
At the time Washington responded to the backlash against her InStyle cover by saying that a conversation about magazines’ tendency to lighten the skin of their cover models was important to have.