I’m late on this one. Oops.  Blame Cannes-ada. ZING. Anyway, it seems impossible and lame that this is the first major magazine cover (besides EW, but that’s a different ball of pulp) Kerry Washington has netted since Scandal blew up and made people more interested in Prada pants. Congrats to Elle for being the one to get to it, and shame on some of the other people for not booking it first, because Kerry Washington is known for having a lot of fun with fashion, and is a perfect choice for a TON of magazines (though Elle is actually a particularly nice fit). And hooray for some much-needed diversity and the championing of one of TV’s only leading ladies of color. Say what you will about Shonda Rhimes’ storytelling sometimes (I am still not over the ghost sex on Grey’s) but she’s always aced a very natural, organic multiculturalism on her shows to the point where it is never the point.

Having said all that, Kerry Washington DOES have a lot of fun with fashion, and when she’s interviewed, she seems a lot more lively and cheery than Olivia Pope — so WHY the glum crabapple aura? Let America get to know how vibrant she is. She doesn’t have to be all spirit fingers and razzmatazz, but there is some acreage between this and that.

I will say that this sexy lip stain is what I was missing in her CFDA look — maybe not that exact shade, but just a sign of life. The rest of this, though, leaves me cold. Although that is a very FANCY diaper indeed, it’s still a diaper. It’s wrinkling and sagging in the crotch. I feel like Rule No. 3 (because if I stopped to think about it I could probably think of at least two things that are more vital) of magazine covers is Don’t Let Things Wrinkle And Sag Around The Actress’s Crotch. And then we get into the fact that her left leg looks strangely prosthetic, and her face is either chilly or crankly, to the point where she seems kind of mad at me, and I don’t like to think of TV’s Olivia Pope being that stressed out in real life, and all that TEXT behind her is SHOUTING AT ME WHY ARE YOU SHOUTING AT ME and I can’t even read half of it. The price of the magazine should not be larger than half the cover lines. And why is the Web site written on there so massively? TOO MUCH. Strip it down and, to borrow from Smash, let Kerry Washington be your star.

Damn. Now I wish Smash had done a crossover with Scandal — can you IMAGINE Megan Hilty and Mellie, singing about men who done them wrong? Olivia Pope and the redheaded one teaching Katharine McPhee’s character how to be more lively than pillow filling? And Derek the Asswad Director and Fitz comparing notes on their really kind of emotionally abusive treatment of women? And Huck and Debra Messing duetting about large scarves, while Anjelica Huston and Cyrus speak-sing about trying to be the puppetmasters of a show that’s beyond their control? I mean. Feel free to fill in the musical numbers of your choice below, because since this will never happen on broadcast TV, I want it to come alive SOMEWHERE.