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G. Brown: InStyle Magazine Denies Lightening But They May Have Slimmed Her Nose




 Most would describe Kerry Washington’s skin tone as a beautiful cocoa color.  So when a picture of Washington was released on InStyle magazine cover looking more like “Vanilla” fans took their frustrations to social media… and this issue has caused a frenzy!
kerry 2 (2)
“Olivia Pope” must have told the magazine you don’t ignore a firestorm that big when its burning in your backyard. InStyle magazine responded to all the furious fans screaming about “white washing” Washington shades lighter than her normal skin tone. InStyle says it was “lighting” not intentional “lightening” that was the problem.
InStyle released this statement, “We are super fans of Kerry Washington here at InStyle. To feature her on the cover of our March spring fashion issue is both an honor and a delight. We have heard from those who have spoken out about our newsstand cover photograph, concerned that Kerry’s skin tone was lightened. While we did not digitally lighten Kerry’s skin tone, our cover lighting has likely contributed to this concern. We understand that this has resulted in disappointment and hurt. We are listening, and the feedback has been valuable. We are committed to ensuring that this experience has a positive influence on the ways in which we present all women going forward.
OK, thanks InStyle. Oh, by the way, did the lighting also slim her nose, eyes, cheeks and body. Cause if it did, that’s a hell of a light kit—where can I buy one?

Both photos from InStyle Magazine. The photo on the left is the cover. The photo on the right is from the article inside the magazine.

Both photos from InStyle Magazine. The photo on the left is the cover. The photo on the right is from inside article

InStyle‘s comment is more rhetoric than response–“we’ll just say something so they will stop complaining”. Yes, lighting could have been the culprit and if that’s the case—hire people who know how to correctly light African American skin tones of all shades. But lighting does not explain the other noticeable alterations to Washington’s image which the InStyle didn’t deem important enough to address.

Washington did post on social media thanking InStyle for opening the door to the conversation about altering images and says it is an important dialogue that’s needed.

InStyle get it together.  You praise Washington in your write up as the woman who attracts 13.9 million viewers to “Scandal” each week.  Didn’t you think some of us would notice if you made changes to this sister’s face?

What do you think, was this a simple “lighting” problem or a case of white washing Washington?



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