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Is This Really Jada Pinkett Smith?

I first saw this Essence cover about two weeks ago, but I didn't blog about it because I really like Jada Pinkett Smith. But every time I see this picture, I cringe. I've been following Jada  from her days on

.  We grew up together. She always scored the dudes on my bedroom wall in her early 90s movies from Allen Payne in

to Blair Underwood in

. But who is this woman on the December cover of Essence? It resembles Jada, but is that her jawline? A girlfriend said in that picture, Jada was channeling Sanaa Lathan. (Another beautiful woman, but I want Jada to be Jada and Sanaa to be Sanaa.) Is it plastic surgery? Too much makeup? Jada was a pretty girl and had blossomed into a beautiful woman.  If this is what Hollywood does to people?  Somebody help me. Was anyone else jarred by this photo of Jada or is it just me?

In other news, it looks like

» READ MORE: Essence

did beat Vogue to getting Michelle Obama on the cover. It appears that January will feature a double cover with president elect Barack Obama on one and first lady elect-Michelle Obama on the second cover. What a nice way to give the first couple equal props.