W Magazine accused of lightening Willow Smith and Zendaya's skin


In the April issue of W Magazine, which features young teen actresses Kiernan Shipka, Zendaya and new face of Chanel, Willow Smith, it looks like the magazine has whitewashed Zendaya and Willow making them appear much lighter in skin tone.

Twitter user, Jumah Eid, created a Photoshop experiment by using contrasting colours, which made it look like W Magazine skin-lightened the two African-American stars.

Eid told Buzzfeed that it took three minutes for him to re-tone the image and said that it just shows how easily Photoshop can transform and manipulate the reader.

This isn’t the first time Disney star Zendaya's appearance has been modified by Photoshop. Last year, she called out Modeliste Magazine for retouching her images.

While it may be easy to blame the technical side of photography or even saying that something like a flash may affect the look of darker-skinned people on a magazine cover, this image looks like it was deliberately meant to make the three models appear lighter, almost ashy.

READ: 10 ways the beauty industry tells you being beautiful means being white

Twitter users aren’t happy with W Magazine for making their stars appear paler than usual:

We’ve seen numerous examples of whitewashing on renowned magazine covers. Remember when Elle Magazine supposedly whitewashed Gabourey Sidibe? And then in 2008 when L’Oreal lightened Beyoncé's face in their beauty campaign?

Which begs the question: why do magazines feel like black people should be subjected to lightening? The theme of the cover does give vampire appeal, but is it necessary when two-thirds of your models are African-American? If you look at Zendaya, the Disney star doesn’t even look black and even Kiernan Shipka appears ghost-like.

Normally, we see magazines slimming down body features and polishing off blemishes, but changing races? This has gone too far.

However, despite the massive criticism surrounding the overall magazine cover, Zendaya and Willow have both Instagrammed the cover and showed their overall happiness and support for W Magazine.

Do you think this was intentional or does W Magazine deserve some slack? Share your thoughts with us.

Follow Women24 Twitter and like us on Facebook.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Would you leave your partner if they have a controlling, meddling parent?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
No, I would tolerate the in-law as much as possible even if my partner doesn't see their behaviour as a problem.
15% - 6 votes
No, but only if my partner supports me.
41% - 16 votes
Yes, my peace comes first and I know I'd be fighting a losing battle.
33% - 13 votes
Yes, even if my partner supports me, the stress is not worth it.
10% - 4 votes