Responding to a Photoshop fail, Kerry Washington embraces nuance and conflict.

We can all agree that Kerry Washington is gorgeous, right?

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.

And we can all agree that sometimes magazines go a little (a lot) overboard when it comes to Photoshop, right?

For example, here's an issue of InStyle that had people up in arms over the apparent lightening of Washington's skin:


Well, it happened again: another Photoshop fail featuring Kerry Washington — but there's a twist.

Washington posted a picture of this week's AdWeek, featuring her on the cover, along with a really thoughtful note. It was honest, it was vulnerable, and it was filled with conflict.

\n\n

It was human.

\n\n

"I just felt weary," she wrote. "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." 

"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. 

\n\n

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. 

\n\n\n\n

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. 

\n\n\n\n

That being said. You all have been very kind and supportive. Also, as I've said, I'm very proud of the article. 

\n\n\n\n

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. 

\n\n\n\n

XOXOXOX"

What's notable about Washington's response, though, is its nuance. She's neither slamming the magazine nor praising it.

It's that nuance that's sometimes missing in our own lives. Just as there's often the debate of how we consume problematic media (or whether it's OK to consume at all), the Internet has created an atmosphere where the loudest and most polarizing voices on any end of a spectrum will be the only ones heard — this is true in politics, media, sports, video games, and just about anything else you can think of.

\n\n

Washington reminds us here that life is often so much more complicated than that. Was she disappointed in how the AdWeek cover turned out? Absolutely. Did she feel some things were missing from the interview she gave? Definitely. But did she "slam" AdWeek? Hardly. In fact, she still encourages her fans to go out and buy the issue, Photoshop fail and all.

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images.

What Washington's doing here goes so much further than a reaction one way or the other: She's reclaiming the right to say she doesn't know how she feels about something.

"Thank you for being patient with me while I figured out how to post this in a way that felt both celebratory and honest," she writes at the end of her note.

\n\n

Celebratory and honest. Critical and supportive. Frustrated and proud.

\n\n

These are valid, complicated human feelings, and Kerry Washington is pretty amazing for showing the world that side of her.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
True

Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

Amazon

In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

Keep Reading Show less

In the hours before he was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, then-President-elect Biden was sent a letter signed by 17 freshmen GOP members of the House of Representatives.

In sharp contrast to the 121 Republican House members who voted against the certification of Biden's electoral votes—a constitutional procedure merely check-marking the state certifications that had already taken place—this letter expresses a desire to "rise above the partisan fray" and work together with Biden as he takes over the presidency.

The letter reads:

Dear President-elect Biden,

Congratulations on the beginning of your administration and presidency. As members of this freshman class, we trust that the next four years will present your administration and the 117thCongress with numerous challenges and successes, and we are hopeful that – despite our ideological differences – we may work together on behalf of the American people we are each so fortunate to serve.

After two impeachments, lengthy inter-branch investigations, and, most recently, the horrific attack on our nation's capital, it is clear that the partisan divide between Democrats and Republicans does not serve a single American.

Keep Reading Show less
True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.