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

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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.

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