Why Kerry Washington Wants To Start A Conversation On Photoshop Culture

“I have to be honest..."

Actress Kerry Washington proudly graces the cover of the latest Adweek — but when she first saw herself on the cover, she says she was surprised by how her image had been altered.

"I have to be honest," Washington wrote on Instagram on Tuesday. "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."

The conversation that Washington wants to have on photoshopped images is an important one. A 2013 study found that fifteen percent of 18 to 24-year-olds believe that the images of models and celebrities in ads accurately depict what the subjects look like in real life. The psychological effects of this misperception may lead to eating disorders, which is why in France last year, a politician proposed adding health warnings to images that have been digitally altered.

As a role model, it's  empowering that Washington revealed her true feelings about seeing the altered version of herself.

"I just felt weary," she wrote on Instagram. "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."


After Washington's Instagram post came out, Adweek's editorial director, James Cooper, responded.

"Kerry Washington is a class act," Cooper said, via Refinery 29. "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."

And Washington also received some praise on Twitter for standing up to the Photoshop culture.

(H/T: Mic)


Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest news and exclusive updates.