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Jennifer Aniston is raising concerns over her appearance on the cover of InStyle’s Beauty Issue due to her darkened skin. She stars in the magazine’s Sept. 4 edition in a series of shoots inspired by 1960s and 1970s models. One image, in which the actress wears a DKNY bra with a Lalaounis necklace around her neck, sparked backlash with some accusations of blackface.
“See? There WERE black people on Friends!” one Twitter user wrote. Another added, “Jennifer Aniston to play Toni Morrison. Scarlett will be busy playing Michelle Obama #blackface,” while another user quipped, “Looks like Jen got 4 fours on her front.”
Others defended the 50-year-old star, saying, “since when has being tanned become problematic smh.”
As critics online noticed, the shot was inspired by Veruschka, a German model from the ’60s, and other looks were based on those by Catherine Deneuve, Lauren Hutton, Brigitte Bardot and Charlotte Rampling. InStyle editor in chief Laura Brown posted a video on Instagram of her holding up the inspiration image of a tanned Veruschka and then panning to Aniston on set.
The magazine has not clarified if Aniston’s dark skin was from Photoshop or tanning.
Julianne Hough, Kylie Jenner, Ariana Grande and Jimmy Kimmel have also faced accusations of blackface in the past. (In fact, one Twitter user said of Aniston’s cover, “They gave her the Ariana grande photoshop package, I see.”) In the past year, fashion houses have been criticized for cultural appropriation and racist products, including Gucci’s blackface sweater and Prada’s animal charms. Both Italian labels have since unveiled diversity initiatives. Dior and Johnny Depp recently faced backlash over its Native American-inspired Sauvage campaign and deleted social media posts after criticism spread online.
Aniston stars in Apple’s upcoming drama The Morning Show alongside Steve Carell and Reese Witherspoon. The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to Aniston for comment.
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
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