If it was just two faces in silhouette, if I'd never seen the ARC cover, I'd probably roll my eyes that they'd resorted to a cop-out to avoid showing an interracial couple on the cover of an interracial romance. I mean, race is the whole point of the story and they can't even put it on the cover? But having seen the original cover, having seen the stock photo, there's no doubt in my mind that they deliberately photoshopped him to look more White.
Multiple comments on these blogs and on Twitter have said the model was just fat and ugly and the photoshopping was done to make him look prettier. Yes! That's the point! The fact that when these commenters look at the silhouette of a POC and think "ugly", and look at the silhouette of a White person and think "pretty", that is why whitewashing is wrong. That is cultural programming at its most fundamental level.
When you look around every day and see nothing but Whites on TV, on posters, on book covers; when the few POC you do see have paler than average skin and Whiter than average features; when even a celebrity as huge as Beyonce with her 16 Grammies has her skin and facial features digitally altered by Loreal; you start to believe that White is beautiful; everything else is ugly. So before you start saying that full lips and round foreheads are "unattractive", stop and take a moment to think critically about why you believe that.
And before you start saying "it's not a big deal" or "don't cry wolf over the little stuff", remember that whitewashing is a cumulative effect. A wall is made of hundreds of bricks; an avalanche is made up of thousands of pebbles. The little stuff isn't a big deal in isolation, but nothing happens in isolation. And remember what it proves when random internet denizens think of POC features as "ugly" and White features as "pretty" - it proves that whitewashing works.