Three days after she announced her engagement to Prince Harry on Monday, Meghan Markle appeared on her first fashion magazine cover as a royal-to-be. And though the occasion is usually a cause for celebration, something tells us that the abundant Photoshop on the cover isn’t something the 36-year-old actress (or her future royal family) approves of.
On Thursday, ELLE France came under fire by fans for Photoshopping the “Suits” actress’s natural freckles and mole on its December cover, Revelist first reported. The cover features a photo of Markle, dressed in a billowing white skirt and a denim shirt, standing on the corner of a busy city intersection.
After its release, the photo immediately sparked backlash on the internet for its excessive Photoshop. Fans lambasted the magazine for digitally removing Markle’s freckles and mole—something she’s publicly stated as her “pet peeve.” (Earlier this year, she praised her cover of Vanity Fair for leaving her natural beauty marks in.)
“To this day, my pet peeve is when my skin tone is changed and my freckles are airbrushed out of a photo shoot,” she told Allure in March. “For all my freckle-faced friends out there, I will share with you something my dad told me when I was younger: ‘A face without freckles is a night without stars.’”
In the interview, Markle went on to open up about how she’s frequently labeled as “racially ambiguous” because of her biracial heritage. “I took an African-American studies class at Northwestern where we explored colorism; it was the first time I could put a name to feeling too light in the black community, too mixed in the white community,” she said. “For castings, I was labeled ‘ethnically ambiguous.’ Was I Latina? Sephardic? ‘Exotic Caucasian’?”
Given Markle’s journey to accepting her skin color and natural beauty, it’s mind-boggling why a magazine would Photoshop her freckles out. Attention, fashion world and Hollywood: Can we stop with the Photoshop already? It’s getting old.