In a candid interview with Oprah Winfrey for OWN’s “Super Soul Sessions,” actress Kerry Washington revealed past insecurities as an adolescent that would play a pivotal role in the budding career of “Scandal’s” Olivia Pope.
“Another young woman I grew up with was much fairer skinned than I was, with much straighter hair and that meant that she was prettier,” Washington explained in reference to self comparisons with others. “I think part of that was because how that impact sort of rippled out with other people culturally were the images I was getting.”
Washington, who in the beginning stages of her life, felt she wasn’t “enough and had to be fixed,” learned that as a budding actress, certain attributes perhaps do need to be fixed in order to land roles.
“In the beginning of my career I was often told to fix things, like fix your teeth, wear your hair differently or dress differently, or I was too ethnic, or I didn’t speak black enough. Whatever it was,” Washington, 39, told the media mogul. “These were the reasons why I wasn’t making it in the beginning of my career.”
However, Washington refused to conform to the beauty standards of the industry, which ultimately paid off when she landed the primetime role as Olivia Pope in Shonda Rhimes’s “Scandal”—becoming the first Black female lead in a primetime series.
“When my career has been angled to unfold I felt like it was because I was being myself,” she said. “So I don’t think I was gonna be awarded for being someone else because I never have been and also I just don’t have the energy.”
Kerry Washington recently called out AdWeek magazine on April 5 for altering her image to a point where she could barely recognize herself.
“It felt strange to look at a picture of myself that is so different from what I look like when I look in the mirror. It’s an unfortunate feeling,” said the actress in an uploaded Instagram post.
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