Friends star Jennifer Aniston has found herself accused of blackface and racism after she was photographed for the cover of InStyle Magazine by Michael Thompson.
The covers were shared to InStyle’s Twitter and Instagram. On Twitter and Instagram they revealed the shots were inspired by “iconic beauty looks from the ’60s and ’70s.”
— InStyle (@InStyle) September 4, 2019
However, a number of people took specific issue with one of the cover photos claiming it wasn’t Jennifer Aniston on the cover while others accused the photo of being racist and blackface.
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Jennifer Aniston has been a beacon of American glamour for the past 25 years, and now she’s stretching her boundaries. In a series of five newsstand covers (just try to choose a favorite), she channels iconic beauty looks from the ‘60s and ‘70s. Read the full interview from our October beauty issue at the link in bio, and stay tuned for more cover shots. I Photographed by @michaelthompsonstudio; Styled by @juliavonboehm; Story by @kerrybombe
One Twitter user decribed the photo as “The Year of the Blackfish”
2019: The Year of the Blackfish https://t.co/WdGIdXkquD
— Queen Messertiti (@ariel_comedy) September 5, 2019
Another described her as “10 shades darker” They questioned, “y’all thinks it’s normal?”
She’s 10 shades darker and all y’all thinks it’s normal? 🤦 pic.twitter.com/4Pj8h7nTHL
— Bouzin Port Au Prince😁🇭🇹 (@HDIANITHE) September 5, 2019
One user wrote, “Y’all thought it would be ok to have a very brown Jennifer Aniston on your cover?” Another added, “Why is she so dark?” Another added, “You can totally ‘stretch your boundaries’ without doing brown face though so……” (Related: Sarah Silverman Claims She Was Fired for Blackface Photo from 2007)
The Los Angeles Times reports others commented on the cover writing, “Very brown.” “I didn’t know she was a person of color.” “That’s a wax figure. Where’s Jennifer?” One simply wrote, “Blackface.” One user mocked the cover writing, “When we asked for south Asian representation in the media this isn’t what we meant.”
Finally, another commentator took to the comment section to claim classic glamour “routinely marginalized women of color for white women.”
“I get that these covers are supposed to be channeling the glamour of yesteryear but that ‘glamour’ routinely marginalized women of color for white women (whether made tan or otherwise). Seeing Jennifer Aniston several shades darker than normal reminds me of that legacy. In 2019, if you want a brown-skinned woman on your cover, put a brown-skinned woman on your cover.”
Others called out the accusations. One person wrote, “You look beautiful! Anyone can get a tan… you’re gorgeous, ignore all the negativity those are people who are unhappy with themselves always have something negative to say about others…”
Another wrote, “People are allowed to wear bronze and spray tans… whats ya issue.. we come in different colors other then fair and porcelain.”
And another wrote, “I hope we never get to a place where anyone can dictate whether or not I can tan!! That has to be the stupidest argument I ever heard. I am a child of the eighties where we tanned all summer at the lake and in the back yard. Stay out of my business.” (Related: Cosplayer and Twitch Streamer Karupups Suspended by Twitch for Cosplaying as Apex Legends’ Lifeline)
In an interesting coincidence in the accompanying interview, Aniston opened up about her concern with social media and what it tends to do to younger people in their pursuit of finding their own identities:
“They’re doing it through someone else’s lens, which has been filtered and changed… and then it’s ‘like me, don’t like me, did I get liked?’ There’s all this comparing and despairing,”
Jennifer Aniston will star in the upcoming TV series The Morning Show alongside Reese Witherspoon Steve Carrel, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Billy Crudup, Nestor Carbonell and Mark Duplass that will air on Apple TV+.