Vogue Sparks Outrage After Kamala Harris’ ‘Washed Out’ Cover Photo

Vogue Sparks Outrage After Kamala Harris’ ‘Washed Out’ Cover PhotoVogue Sparks Outrage After Kamala Harris’ ‘Washed Out’ Cover Photo
Khanh Tran
January 11, 2021
For its February issue, Vogue features Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on its cover, drawing criticism for the cover’s “washed out” look.
The controversy: According to CNN, the leaked image of the fashion publication’s cover circulated online on Sunday, prompting many disappointed reactions from users on social media. 
  • The polarizing image shows Harris, the first Asian American and Black Vice President-elect, in a casual outfit and Converse sneakers, which she often wore on campaign trails.
  • Most of the criticisms center around the plain and poorly lit appearance of the photo.
  • One user called it a “washed out mess of a cover.”
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The two covers: In response to the leaked cover, Vogue revealed that there were two covers shot, one for printed and the other for digital.
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  • The digital cover depicts Harris in a powder blue suit against a gold backdrop.
  • Both images were shot by Tyler Mitchell, who famously became the first Black photographer to shoot a Vogue cover when he captured Beyoncé for the magazine’s September 2018 issue.
  • According to Harris’s team, the image chosen by Vogue is not what both sides had agreed upon, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter.
  • The team was “unaware that the cover photo had been switched” until the leak.
Vogue’s response: In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Vogue said it went with the casual photo because of its “authentic, approachable nature, which [Vogue] feel[s] is one of the hallmarks of the Biden-Harris administration.”
  • This is not the first time Vogue has garnered controversy for its depiction of people of color.
  • Last summer in 2020, its editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, admitted in a company-wide internal memo that she had failed to elevate Black creators, as reported by The Guardian.
Feature Image via Getty
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