Come on, man — she was Rachel Green, not Rachel Dolezal. Jennifer Aniston gets featured in the new issue of InStyle Magazine, and one of the shots looks a bit heavy on the spray-tan treatment. NBC News wonders whether Aniston might be considered guilty of a little ethnic appropriation:
View this post on Instagram
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
In fact, NBC references Dolezal as the comparison made by several critics:
In the image — in which Aniston is wearing a black DKNY bra, a Lalaounis necklace and Elizabeth Locke, John Hardy and Reinstein Ross bracelets — the actress, who discussed with the magazine how it felt to turn 50 earlier this year, looked airbrushed and dark, many social media users were quick to note.
Much of the criticism seemed to be aimed firmly at the magazine.
Some compared her complexion to that of Rachel Dolezal, a white woman who gained national attention in 2015 for masquerading as black while serving as a local NAACP leader.
“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),” Instagram user Patricia Birch, commented on the InStyle photo. “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.”
Call me crazy, but the magazine may have just wanted Aniston on its cover, not a skin tone. That assumption is backed up by InStyle’s Instagram feed, which features several different looks for Aniston as cover shots for the issue. Others have varying degrees of tan, and perhaps also of airbrushing, but the tan isn’t the feature — it’s the 50-year-old Aniston and how she exemplifies “Beauty,” the theme of the issue.
Tossing a Dolezal reference into the mix is grossly dishonest. Dolezal didn’t just show up after an overdone bronzing session — she actively defrauded people into believing she was an African-American woman. (And she’s still at it, too.) Aniston’s not doing anything except being herself, and InStyle isn’t featuring her to feed stereotypes. In fact, they’re trying to contradict the stereotype that women in their fifties can’t exemplify beauty in many different ways.
Give Aniston a break, give InStyle a break, and in fact give us all a break. It’s a fashion shoot, not a conspiracy. It’s silly beyond belief for a national news outlet to cover this rather than, say, a leading presidential candidate in his mid-70s bleeding in his eyeball on national television. Of course, when you’re Friends with Democrats, those decisions are more explicable. We’ll be there for you when the ratings are poor ….