Actress and beauty influencer Kerry Washington is a regal vision on the current cover of ‘AdWeek’, draped in contrasting black and white stripes and patterns. The problem is is that vision doesn’t reflect what she sees in the mirror (or how we see her, for that matter.) The Scandal star took to social media to share her weariness of not being able to recognize herself.
“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,” captioned Washington. “It’s an unfortunate feeling.”
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
The magazine’s editorial director James Cooper responded:
“Kerry Washington is a class act. We are honored to have her grace our pages. To clarify, we made minimal adjustments, solely for the cover’s design needs. We meant no disrespect, quite the opposite. We are glad she is enthusiastic about the piece and appreciate her honest comments.”
Of course, no one ever means any “disrespect”, but in our age of instant photo editing and unrealistic #bodygoals, the level of celeb slay has reached epic “smoke & mirror” proportions. This is not the first time this happened and it won’t be the last, but we do appreciate when our faves speak up and out about the need for proper image representation. At what point do we say, enough is enough?