“I Was Taken Aback By The Cover.” Kerry Washington Addresses Strange ADWEEK Cover

April 6, 2016  |  

We had no words when we saw the cover of the latest ADWEEK. Perhaps by now, you’ve seen it too. It features a picture of a woman the publication tells us is Kerry Washington.

Now, Kerry has been featured on many a cover. And while there have been some great hits, there have also been some misses, like the way InStyle lightened her skin or the way Lucky made her look unrecognizable. For the record, while Kerry seemed to like both the Lucky and InStyle covers; though with InStyle, she did agree that a conversation about camera lighting vs. digital skin lightening was an important one that needed to be had.

For one reason or another, Washington has one of those faces that some publications (read: mainstream publications)  just don’t know what to do with. And while there have generally been more hits than misses, this ADWEEK was too much to ignore.

Washington issued this very classy statement on her Instagram.

View this post on Instagram

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

A post shared by Kerry Washington (@kerrywashington) on

Like I said, she handled this beautifully. No shade to ADWEEK but someone has to know that this in unacceptable. And as she said, there were other images, inside the book that were quite beautiful and that looked, just like the Kerry we “know.” There was praise with her slight reprimand. Hopefully, the discussion will influence the manipulation of images in the future.


What do you make of the cover and Kerry’s statement? Why is she so often the victim of these terrible photoshop jobs?

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