“Scandal’s First Lady” Kerry Washington takes a swim for the cover of Vanity Fair‘s August 2013 issue where she speaks on her Scandal character Olivia Pope, her thoughts on a post-racial society, and more.
“Our differences are so fascinating and wonderful. We don’t want to all be the same. Who wants that? Hitler did, but who else?”
The Norman Jean Roy-lensed shoot finds the 36-year-old actress at a beach house in Bridgehampton, New York, rocking the hell out of a sexy white hot cutout swimsuit and dramatic gowns selected by stylist Jessica Diehl.
Check out a few interview snippets below and we’ll add more photos from the shoot when better versions are out.
On White women connecting with Olivia:
“One of the most profound things for me about the show is the number of white women of all ages who come up to me and say, ‘I want to be Olivia Pope.’
It’s especially profound in a place like South Africa. It’s called The Fixer over there, and it just started its second season. The fact that white women can see this woman of color as an aspirational character is revolutionary, I think, in the medium of television.
I don’t think white women would feel that way about Olivia if her identity as a woman, period, wasn’t first in their mind.”
On Olivia’s femininity:
“What I think is cool about Olivia is that she fully owns being a woman. There’s a very nurturing sense of ‘I’m going to take care of you—don’t worry about it. I’m gonna be your mom in this situation. You come stay in my office, have a cup of tea, and let my gladiators take care of you.’
There’s something very maternal about it. But there’s also something very executive about her, and I mean ‘executive’ in a presidential way.”
On not wanting a post-racial society:
“I don’t believe in post-racial. It’s like saying we should live in a post-gender world. But I love being a woman! I am interested in living in a post-sexist world and feel the same about race. I don’t want to live in a post-race world because being black is really exciting.
I mean…” [she laughs] “it’s who I am. I’m a woman, black, from New York, Aquarius – these are things that create who I am. I’m interested in living in a post-rac1st world, where being African American doesn’t dictate limitations on what I can do – but I don’t want to live post-race.
Our differences are so fascinating and wonderful. We don’t want to all be the same. Who wants that? Hitler did, but who else?”