Call it Fifty Shades of Black! When Kerry Washington was on the cover of InStyle’s Weddings issue, she looked like her beautiful self. Gorgeous, as usual. And black. Now she’s on the cover of the magazine’s regular March issue. She’s white, with completely different features. It’s a scandal. Someone call Olivia Pope.
The InStyle editors are blaming it on “lighting.” And that’s a joke since the magazine prides itself on their photos. Didn’t they approve the cover? (Yes.) Couldn’t they have re-shot it once they saw the prints? (Yes.)
Most magazines don’t put black actresses on their cover. It’s an unwritten rule in publishing. Believe it or not, Vogue is one of the few that goes against the grain all the time. Anna Wintour gets kudos for regularly featuring black models, as well as singers like Beyonce.
The rule against blacks on the cover is the unsaid reason that Oprah Winfrey has always appeared on the over of her O Magazine. Most months she’s the only African American face on a newsstand.
On InStyle’s cover, Washington’s features are completely altered. She’s unrecognizable. What would Olivia Pope, her super PR star character on “Scandal” do about this? Kick some ass I’d say. Fortunately, InStyle has no Olivia Pope. On Instagram, Washington’s fans are furious. There’s no way to spin out of that.