Scandal star and new Mommy, Kerry Washington covers the latest issue of InStyle Magazine.  Shot by Jan Welters, InStyle’s “Super Fashion Issue” features Washington rocking the perfect spring look and — a noticeably lighter skin tone.



After The Scandal star posted the cover on Instagram, some of her followers accused InStyle of lightening her skin:

  • Disappointed you would allow to be photoshopped…. Thought you stood for so much more. :/
  • Don’t be honored this doesn’t look like you… Your skin tone looks beautiful on u this pale person looks like someone else … Sanaa Lathan actually.
  • InStyle editors didn’t think we would notice the bleached the hell outta you! I love you but this is some bull shit!
  • I’m glad that you made the cover, but you should speak out about them lightening your skin. Not cool. Tired of the media doing this type of stuff. We are ALL beautiful. Leave everyone natural please,” one wrote. Others just thought the whole cover looked overly photoshopped. It’s definitely lit in a way that is supposed to suggest LIGHT AND HAPPY SPRING!

InStyle issued a statement to address the lightening claims on Thursday:

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.

Kerry Washington posted on Twitter to support InStyle’s statement and thanked the magazine for “opening the convo”:

The issue of skin lightening has been a regular topic surrounding women of color and magazine covers for quite some time. Kudos for Instyle for immediately addressing concerns and taking the time to explain the process of lightening and photography when it comes to magazine covers.

 Photo Credit: Instyle/Jan Welters

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