Instagram is not just for pictures of avocado toast, brands and babies. It’s becoming the go-to platform for celebrities upset by their depiction in the press. This week, both Amy Schumer and Kerry Washington posted images from magazines they appeared in, along with their complaints, on the photo-sharing social network.
Ms. Schumer posted a snapshot of the bottom of the cover of Glamour‘s plus-size special issue (for which they partnered with the plus-size retailer Lane Bryant) that included the actor and comedian’s name under the heading “women who inspire us,” along with Melissa McCarthy, Adele, and Ashley Graham.
“I think there’s nothing wrong with being plus size. Beautiful healthy women. Plus size is considered size 16 in America. I go between a size 6 and an 8. @glamourmag put me in their plus size only issue without asking or letting me know and it doesn’t feel right to me,” Ms. Schumer wrote. “Young girls seeing my body type thinking that is plus size? What are your thoughts? Mine are not cool glamour not glamourous.”
The same day, Ms. Washington caused a minor scandal when she called out Adweek for excessively Photoshopping her image on the cover:
“I love ADWEEK. It’s a publication I appreciate. And learn from. I’ve long followed them on Twitter. And when they invited me to do a cover, I was excited and thrilled,” Ms. Washington wrote (in part) in her lengthy Instagram caption. “But, I have to be honest…I was taken aback by the cover. Look, I’m no stranger to Photoshopping. It happens a lot. In a way, we have become a society of picture adjusters – who doesn’t love a filter?!? And I don’t always take these adjustments to task but I have had the opportunity to address the impact of my altered image in the past and I think it’s a valuable conversation. Yesterday, however, I just felt weary. 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.”
Within 24 hours, Ms. Schumer’s post garnered more than 84,o00 likes and upwards of 7,000 comments; Ms. Washington’s post was liked almost 37,000 times and commented on over 1,ooo times. And both posts resulted in more media attention than either story would have otherwise received.
There was a time when actors who were unhappy with the way that they were portrayed in magazines had little recourse to publicly register their dissatisfaction. Social media changed that, enabling public figures to bypass the press and speak directly to fans and followers.
Image-based Instagram, it turns out, is the perfect network for this purpose. It allows the image to be shared with an unlimited character count, on the celebrity’s own terms.