8 Cases Where A Black Celebrity Was Whitewashed For A Magazine Cover or Ad Campaign

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naomi cover

Naomi Campbell on Vogue
The beautiful dark-skinned model was featured on the cover of Vogue Thailand in 2013 and immediately blogs were sounding off about the fact that her skin and eyes appeared much lighter. “Naomi was recently a guest on the Jonathan Ross show and her skin was beautifully dark,” wrote Cosmic Voices of the cover. “It’s such a shame that retouchers aren’t only over-Photoshopping but in fact lightening skin tone.” Another website, The Gloss, also took aim at the cover. “It’s hard not to see a racial side to this — they lightened her skin and eyes for god’s sake,” the site wrote of the controversy. “This shows just how insidious beauty standards can be, and even a supermodel could be prettier. She could be less Black.”

Neil deGrasse Tyson

Neil deGrasse Tyson on Mental Floss

The skin-lightening phenomenon isn’t just reserved for Black people in the entertainment business. The famed astrophysicist was also the victim of skin-lightening Photoshopping when he appeared on the cover of Mental Floss in 2014. Unlike many Black celebrities who remained quiet about the edits, Tyson took to Twitter to discuss the editing error after the magazine was released. “Nothing like being overexposed,” he tweeted. However, Tyson did not agree that the magazine was purposefully trying to whitewash his cover. Instead, he insisted it was just a “rookie mistake” that was made during the editing process.

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