Fug the Cover: Kerry Washington on Lucky

This cannot have gone according to plan.

I am sure the plan was, “Let’s put Kerry Washington on the cover because America is obsessed with her right now,” and not, “Let’s put Kerry Washington on the cover and make her look like she’s suffering through menstrual cramps and an extreme cobweb attack while someone blows a wind cannon at her that’s making it impossible for her to open her eyes.” Like, I am fairly sure that even on the set, while making this pose, Kerry Washington looked more like Kerry Washington than she does right here on the cover. That right there is crazyface. Olivia Pope would take one look at this cover and then accept Kerry Washington as a client, and set about ruining the lives of the slanderous hobos who made this happen. Also, does ANYTHING about this make you feel festive? Do you at ALL want to dig into holiday shopping, drink a hot cocoa spiked with something devilish, scream the incomparably catchy and badmazing “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” in your car while imitating all the overwrought performances of those ill-conceived lyrics (I don’t know if “the only water flowing is A BITTER STING OF TEARS” or “the Christmas bells that ring there are the CLANGING CHIMES OF DOOM” is my favorite, but let me tell you, by the time Bono comes in all lecturey with “TONIGHT THANK GOD IT’S THEM INSTEAD OF YOU,” I am in FULL performance mode)? Does it make you want to make stuffing and a turkey and eat pie, and watch football and wear cute coats and things? No. It MIGHT make you want to wear a scarf, but only because you are pretty sure you would wear it better than she has been told to wear this one. That is a perfunctory scarf. That scarf says, “Shit, we totally dressed her for spring — quick, throw a scarf on her neck. INSTANT WINTER.”

And for what it’s worth, the parenthetical on the cover line is annoying me, too. “Perfect, Glowy Skin” did not need “all winter long” to be in parenthesis. It reads like a disclaimer: “Yeah, we can’t actually promise you good skin beyond, say, February, but listen, we’re here for you until then.”

In sum: Unlawful Crazyface mixed with Unseasonal Tomfoolery plus Unnecessary Parentheses = I am wearing three pairs of crankypants.

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Comments (104):

  1. margaret

    Whatever they did to her beautiful face looks like they just unwrapped a mummy….and what’s with the blue ink stain on her torso?

    • Natalie

      They lightened her skin WAY too much and also what on earth is happening with her lips? Color, it’s a thing. Use it.

      • Tiffany

        The coloring was what really disturbs me. She looks like she has frozen solid. The frosty lips with the white on her cheeks and forehead makes her look ill and unrecognizable.

        HOW did they do this to someone so pretty! It must have taken hours to deconstruct her features this much!

  2. Gine

    WHAT ON EARTH. That’s one of the worst covers I’ve seen in…ever, possibly. What’s going on with these photographers? Taking pictures of incredibly beautiful women cannot be this hard.

    • Maria L.

      Not only the photographers. What’s really scary is that they have an editorial staff that actually believed that this is a good photo of this woman. Everyone who signed off on this travesty should be fired immediately. She looks hideous.

  3. Kate

    This must be someone pretending to be Kerry Washington, because that can’t possibly be the real Kerry. Can it? Are you sure?

  4. Priscilla

    Is it just me or does her face look like a lot like HughJackman in this shot?

    • Kate

      OH MY GOD I can’t unsee that now. I think it’s the expression?

      • Kristabelle

        It’s the shape her eyes are making. (Wow, that’s an awkward sentence, but that’s where I see the Hugh resemblance.)

    • giggleswick

      With that hair, it’s Hugh Jackman as Wolverine!

  5. Other Emily

    WORDS! What the fuck? Seriously, I try not to swear on this site, just because it seems impolite, but I can’t not swear over this. It’s outrageous. It’s not even crazyface — it’s not her face at all.

  6. julie

    The first thing I thought was that it looks like she put too much dry shampoo in her hair after not showering for a week cause that’s what mine looks like when that happens. NOT. GOOD.

  7. Kim

    Glowy isn’t even a word.

  8.  Blair

    It looks like she is wearing really unevenly applied black face? (white face) it honestly looks to me like they took a white woman and tried to unevenly paint Kerry Washington onto her. Also the hair looks less wind blown and more Gorilla. From the scarf up she looks like a crazed savage a la george of the jungle

  9. Jessica

    Thank you! When I saw this cover, my first thought was that I couldn’t wait to read your thoughts.

  10. Christine

    I don’t care how red they put her name on the cover, I will never believe that it is her. Even being told it’s her, I still can’t see it at all! What a terrible cover!

    •  Elizabeth

      I know! I keep looking and looking, covering up parts of her face with Post-It notes to see if I can recognize any isolated features, and I still can’t see ANY Kerry Washington in this.

    • Maria L.

      I think she should prosecute the magazine for cruel and unusual photo punishment.

  11.  Ramona

    I think Dlisted’s Michael K said it best: “Lucky found a way to make Kerry Washington look like a maniacal forest goblin who lives in trees and eats the hair of children “

    • Nan

      Absolutely! She looks like she is possessed by a demon.

      • Maria L.

        Even more unbelievable is the response by Eva Chen, the Editor in Chief of Lucky, to the well-deserved criticism of this cover:

        “Listen, we really tried so hard on that. We did the best we could with the subject. I got the best hair and make up people on it. One of the best photographers in the business. Hey listen, we can only do but so much. We’re not miracle workers.”

        WTF?! How hard do you have to try with Kerry Washington? The only miracle is that she hasn’t strangled Eva.

        • Nan

          @ Maria L–UN-believable! This Eva Chen person actually said that?!! About Kerry Washington?!!!

        • Tiffany

          We did the best we could with the subject???????? How insulting!

          Do they know that we ALL have seen Kerry Washington before, many times looking AMAZING??? It completely lacks integrity that they would try and shame Kerry instead of taking responsibility for their own horrific work.

          After that rant I am now speechless…her comment made me ill.

        • Tiffany

          And I just have to say that I have seen Kerry up close inches away and her face is naturally GORGEOUS. It makes me feel like they just insulted my sister or something. Kerry barely needs make up, and for Eva to issue a comment like that is just awful.

        • Dani

          Have they not seen a single other photoshoot of Kerry Washington?? No way can you make a claim about having done your best if what you produce is the stand-out worst.

        • Jessica

          WHAT. THE. F. “We’re not miracle workers.” ?!?!!?!? That implies that Kerry Washington is, like, a hideous she-beast when, in actuality, she is suuuuuuuuper good-looking.

          That is an appalling statement. All she needed to say was, “We’re thrilled with the cover. It really captures Kerry’s energetic essence and we think that it, like she herself, is beautiful.”

          She wrote that on Instagram, yes? It has since been deleted. Wisely.

    •  Janice

      Like a character from Game of Thrones, then?

  12. jerkygirl

    Put down the Photoshop and go sober up, people-who-did-this-to-Kerry-Washington.

  13. Jaime

    That is NOT Kerry Washington. Kerry Washington is beautiful. This woman is…I don’t even know. That’s one of the worst magazine covers – no, PICTURES – I’ve ever seen of anyone ever. Ms. Washington should sue. Or demand a reprint.

  14. qwertygirl

    I just have to say 1) the line about “there won’t be snow in Africa this Christmastime” has always bugged me, because I’m pretty sure that MOST of Africa NEVER sees snow, not just at Christmas. Since the bulk of it is desert, savanna, tropical rainforest and steppe, snow would be almost impossible. And 2) thanks for the ear worm. Oh, and 3) yeah, this cover is horrible.

    •  Annie E

      Word. That line and the “thank God” line are the only ones I’ve ever deciphered, so I did not know until now there were STINGING TEARS and CHIMES OF DOOM. I feel like this is not very nuanced. Everyone in Africa cries bitterly until a bell announces their death, but only at Christmas time?

      • KarenG958

        I love how if you watch the video of it, the camera man closes in on Sting during the line, “Bitter STING of tears,” and he smirks appropriately. Perfection!

        And I love this song. Yes, it’s badmazing, but I love it anyway. I love the thought behind it; I love the video of the making of it, just everything.

        This cover though – not so much.

        •  Snarky

          That song is a nightmare, because it’s simultaneously incredibly catchy and for a good cause, but also lyrically a total mess (the stinging tears and chimes of doom are kinda awesome, though).

          Although I think the “Glee” performance made it so awful that I couldn’t listen to it for a while. Yeah, let’s sing “Thank God tonight it’s them instead of you” to a bunch of homeless people! Are we trying to say “thank God we’re not those homeless people right there that can hear us singing loudly about how we’re so glad we’re not them” or “hey, homeless people, don’t feel bad about living in the gutter, you’re still better off than all people in Africa apparently”? Who cares! Let’s just sing it!… Oy.

          And from one awful cover to another (phew, pulled that segue out of thin air), this is a total mess. Lucky have managed to make the fabulous Kerry Washington look like the “Kelly Rowland” from a really bad drag version of Destiny’s Child. With a hump. And oversized teeth. Seriously, THIS is the picture you choose out of all the ones you snapped, Lucky?!?

      • qwertygirl

        I didn’t know half the lyrics until Heather enlightened me (I agree that sting of tears and chimes of doom stuff is awesome). And KarenG958, it is a horribly wonderful song. And it IS terrifyingly catchy. I’m going to be stuck with it all day and possibly into tomorrow at the very least.

    • HelenBackAgain

      Africa’s a big continent containing many different altitudes and climates. It does snow in many areas there (including, somewhat to my surprise, the South).


      • qwertygirl

        I’m not surprised that it snows in South Africa (and south Africa), because it’s pretty far down there–the southern parts of South America get a lot of snow too, especially the more mountainous regions. But if you look at a climate map of Africa, the top 2/3 or so of it are desert, savanna, and rain forest–all places that don’t get snow. I didn’t mean to imply that it didn’t snow anywhere in Africa, I just meant that the line in the song has always bothered me because there are so many places that OF COURSE it won’t snow, probably ever, and yet they suggest that it’s this great sad thing that there won’t be snow because there’s such a terrible drought. It’s not the drought–it’s a desert; it’s not supposed to snow in the desert. Now I have this as an ear worm again. But I guess that’s better than the Nu Shooz one I had when I woke up this morning.

  15. Anna Svahn

    Hair and face look scary, or scared. Either way, BAD.

  16. Shanti

    Does anyone – ever! – stand with their hands in that position? It looks contorted and unnatural.

  17. regina

    How could this happen? Who made her stand like that? Why is the shade on her makeup base at least 3 shades lighter than her (gorgeous) skin tone? Waaaay bad. Pity, ’cause she’s so lovely and interesting.

  18. JC

    Pitiful. A travesty. She is such a lovely woman with a true inner glow, and this doesn’t allow any of that to shine through. I hope this stylist and photographer are run out of the business.

  19. TinaM.

    I had to look up who Kerry Washington was after reading this and it doesn’t look that different from some of the images of her that come up in Google. The coloring is a little off, but the woman on the cover is a nice normal looking woman. Most of the other shots I found were in heavy make-up and with her mouth closed.

    This isn’t bad at all. She looks real. Are we really going to start criticizing people for looking like real people?

    • Caro

      And–seriously, she likes it; I read that she is using it as her profile picture (either on Twitter or Facebook, I can’t remember which).

      • Katherine

        Nooo, she’s using a different (much better) photo from the magazine shoot. Which took me 30 seconds to look her up on facebook and twitter- did you really not think to check that?

        • Caro

          Oops, sorry! I told you I’d read it someplace. Maybe you have all the time in the world to post all day long and do internet research, but some of us have jobs.

          • Katherine

            You’re right, I’m sorry for being snippy, baby kept me up all night and I’m a bit grouchy today.

        • Mimi

          Katherine: I think you spoke too soon. She changed her profile pic on twitter in response to the comments about the Lucky Cover (see link). Maybe it was temporary, but OH YES, she did it. Did you REALLY not think to check this possibility? And do you REALLY think it’s sane to take it so personally that a magazine printed an unflattering photo of a celebrity who wouldn’t pee on you if you were on fire? Someone’s priorities are out of whack.


          • Katherine

            Guess I did speak to soon, sorry. Although, ‘wouldn’t pee on you if you were on fire’? I think you might be reacting a bit too strongly as well. From all accounts Washington is a lovely woman. Also, this is a fashion site. Critiquing clothing/makeup and yes, magazine covers is the whole point. I don’t take it personally at all that the cover is bad- but it is very bad, and this is precisely the right place to say so.

    • Brenna

      It’s not that she looks like a real person, it’s that she doesn’t look like herself. If you asked me who this was, Kerry Washington wouldn’t even be in my top 3 guesses – to me, it looks like Kelly Rowland, and it’d be a bad picture of her too. I firmly cannot believe that this was the best photo they took of Kerry Washington that day.

  20. Kristabelle

    I love you for this commentary. I know we have discussed the travesty that it DTKICTAA on here before, but you covered all the bases so well, once again, that I just chuckled my way through the whole post. My favorite line of the whole song is, undeniably, “thank God it’s them instead of youuuuuuuu.” Because, that is the Christmas spirit all wrapped up in a neat little bow, no?? LOL!

    Also, this cover. Talk about a travesty. KW should seriously consider suing them. It looks no more like her than if you said it was Elle Fanning.

  21. Linda

    I thought I was the only one who sings “Do They Know It’s Christmas” in all the voices.
    Also, why do they make these gorgeous women so odd looking? She is probably more gorgeous getting out of bed them must of its could dream of, but they have to try to “improve” her.

    •  jenelope

      I have worked for decades to perfect Simon LeBon’s nasal snarl on his lines.

  22. Lori

    This makes me legit angry. It’s terrible, and Kerry Washington is too freaking pretty to look terrible.

  23. Ana

    Her lips look like she has suffered frost bites

  24.  ErinB

    This validates my recent decision to drop my Lucky subscription. My main reasons were the overuse of the words “ridiculously,” “chicest,” and “miraculously,” amongst others. Now I can add “glowy” to that list, as well as the fact they destroyed a lovely woman’s face on the cover of their magazine.

  25. Katherine

    Dec/Jan. Obviously the right time for a white, sleeveless outfit with a sheer belly and decolletage. As for her head? I wonder if one can sue for defamation via horrific photographic misrepresentation?

  26. Megs

    It’s a good thing they put her name right next to her, because I would NEVER have guessed this was Kerry Washington. This MIGHT look like Kerry Washington if she had died and then they posed her on the cover Weekend at Bernie’s style, but good grief.

    I suspect it’s the fault of the photoshop people,because Kerry Washington couldn’t look that bad if she was trying.

  27. Sheila

    The minute I saw this cover I thought, “I CAN NOT WAIT for GFY to tear this apart!”

  28. Jenz

    That doesn’t even look like Kerry Washington, that’s how bad the photo is…

  29. Jordan Goslin

    There is so much wrong with this. Mostly what is wrong is that they did all this to Kerry Washington, whom I adore and idolize like the rest of America. Thankfully the national consciousness has her face memorized and we can all walk away from this trying to forget what they’ve done to our Olivia Pope.

  30. Emily

    I literally would never have know this was Kerry Washington without seeing her name on the cover. This looks like an overly airbrushed Gayle King.

    The thing that bothered me most–especially in conjunction with the appalling styling–is the headline immediately next to that unfortunate, wind-whipped, over-processed, battlefield mane: “Bombshell hair: how to get the sexiest look of all time,” because A) This hairstyle looks incredibly aging on her and B) it might as well say “sorry, black women, but not only can we not obviously figure out how to do your hair properly, you shouldn’t even try, because sexy hair = white hair.”

  31.  jenelope


  32. HelenBackAgain

    What they’ve done to Washington has been amply covered above, so I’m just going to ask, did anyone else read “SHOES! BAGS! JEWELS!” as “SHOES! BAGELS!” initially?

    Maybe I’m just hungry.

  33. Carol

    As distracting as this cover is, I’m sidetracked by the image conjured by the wondrous phrase, “slanderous hobos” …

  34. Cynthia W

    Seriously, I would not have known that was Kerry if you hadn’t told me.

  35. Sylvie

    I think this cover may have been shot when she was hiding her pregnancy, but showing, and this is why the pose is so weird. It looks like she is literally pushing her stomach in. As for the hair and face, i have no explanation. It is simply horrible.

  36. Stefanie

    The person who chose this photo, the person who photoshopped this photo, the person who ok’ed the photoshop and any/all person(s) who ok’ed this cover need fired.

  37. Crystal

    Like the Fug Girls said:
    -Horrible pose
    -Crazy (bad) styling
    -Sad hair
    -Meh makeup

    The unluckiest cover of all.

  38. Kate

    That is not Kerry Washington. That is a lady they picked up walking through the dessert in a dust storm and told her they’d give her some water and a sandwich after she put on that dress and smiled sort of.

  39. cg

    No way that’s Kerry Washington.

  40. AJ

    “I know what you are.”

    “SAY IT.”


    Please tell me I’m not the only one who thought she looks like a Twilight-bad version of one who feasts on souls. Those eyes, that smile, the just-might-sparkle-in-sunlight face…

  41.  azqueenie

    Do you think anyone at any of these magazines will ever get the point that NO ONE LIKES TO SEE WELL-KNOWN PEOPLE PHOTOSHOPPED BEYOND RECOGNITION!? Or are we doomed to an eternity of Photoshop shenanigans?

  42. Tassie

    I’m not sure it is all photoshop. But bad makeup add poor lighting, strike awkward pose. Around the mouth looks unnatural.-why do the smile lines seem so weird? Definitely over styled.

  43. Elle W.

    I AM APPALLED! WHO THE HELL APPROVED THIS??? she looks terrible (which is in utter contrast to how beautiful she actually is). Does someone there hate her??

  44. Alexandra

    I read somewhere that one reason for this mess could be that the makeup/lighting people aren’t used to working with black people, which sort of makes sense to me, because this cover is all kinds of wrong.

    • Tiffany

      I wondered about that. It looks like they put silver tinted highlighter on her face and mouth, and that doesn’t look like a natural sheen at all. She needed some warmth in the make up.

  45.  Vi

    This is so horribly bad. What have they done to her beautiful face in this pic?

    And, is this the best of the lot???!!! What a truly awful thought.

  46. Rachael

    I’m sorry in advance for shouting and swearing, but I have to get this off my chest:


    Damn, I am sick of this. The English language is capable of amazing feats of descriptive beauty or wit. Tacking a ‘y’ on the end of everything is lazy and boring. I’m tired of it. It sounds like children speaking. I like to read the “Save the Date” blog on Glamour sometimes, to look at the pretty wedding dresses and engagement rings, and they constantly use words like “wedding-y” and “engagement-y.” What? Not words. Drives me up the wall almost as much as the “literally” trend.

    Okay, I’m finished. I’m sorry.

  47. swingbird

    You know what the saddest part is? That the proper English adjective is just a measly two letters longer. Glowing, Lucky editors, the right word is glowing.

    Kerry looks terrible compared to how beautiful she is, and that’s a shame too.

  48. Deb 

    The gorgeous Miss Washington should be cranky pants too. She was hilarious on SNL.
    “Do not underestimate her power to access the Fug bucket”.

  49. Eli

    This is turrrrible. And I just saw the new covers of Allure with the Olsen twins and they look equally turrrrible (Allure has had a bad run lately). I am all about not having celebrities look like airbrushed robots and am happy to see them look more real, but washed out and strange is also not good.

    • Liz

      I thought there would definitely be a “Fug the Cover” about the Allure cover, but then I saw this one. I think it definitely seems to be a hair, make up, and lighting problem as opposed to a photoshop one. It looks like there went crazy with a shimmery highlighter made for much lighter skin. And they just didn’t even try with the hair. I can’t even believe Eva Chen’s response. That was a career suicide move on her part.

  50. Absurdist

    I’ll say it again: the stylist/editor was doing yeoman’s work of trying to make KW look like a cracked-out Naomi Campbell, and damn near succeeded.

  51. Lynne Gaylor

    Spot On!!! She looks God-awful!!! What were they THINKING!!

  52. Talley Lach

    I’m sorry, WHO is that? I don’t believe that it’s Kerry Washington!

  53. CC

    Are we sure this is Kerry Washington? Seriously.

    Maybe someone out there knows: Do the cover subjects have a say in their covers?

  54. Renee

    Dude. She looks like Buckwheat.

    • gwenie

      Buckwheat? Okay, not sure where that comparison came from. In fact, I’m going to chose to believe that there is some connection between the two(that you get) and I’m just not getting it, since I was never a Little Rascals fan. The other choice as to why you would make that statement ….would leave me on the cranky side.

      I avoided talking about this cover because of my love for Kerry Washington, but I can’t avoid it any longer. What. The. Frack? She looks like my deranged aunt, who had her heart broken by a Spanish bullfighter and has never recovered(my aunt, not Kerry, I hope, though it would explain THIS). The pasted on smile with the pearl lipstick? Bleh. The hair looks like a lot like mine after skipping a blowout(work and no time) and trying to figure out what to do before an event, while crying hysterically in the mirror as I wait for my flatiron to heat up(I have MAJOR hair issues, guys). I just can’t understand how THIS picture was the one that they decided to use. Did no one think this was a BAD idea? It’s like someone is wearing a KW mask and that is never a good thing. Just no.

  55. JanetP

    Cover is terrible. But I’m really just here to say that my favorite part about “the only water flowing is A BITTER STING OF TEARS” is how the video changes to Sting at that moment. I can never get enough of that. And I am with you on Full Performance Mode!

  56. veronica

    She looks like a different person on all the covers she’s been on recently. Different in that she doesn’t look like her beautiful self! I don’t get it, people -who-make-these-choices, are you nutty? What did you do to our Kerry?!?!?

  57. Kara

    Literally every other picture of Kerry Washington that I have ever seen – and that includes many other magazine covers, including two in the past week – is better than this Lucky cover. Shameful.

  58.  Janice

    A pose suggesting nausea and cramping is appropriate to this time of year.

  59. mag

    Any canadians? She looks like gary glittler, or should I say zoe winbur.

  60. mag

    Any canadians? She lloks like gary glitter, or should I say zoe winbur