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.”
Kamala Harris is about as light skinned as women of color come and Vogue still fvcked up her lighting. WTF is this washed out mess of a cover? pic.twitter.com/5O2q0axA0G
— E. Vaughan (@HypeVaughan) January 10, 2021
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.
Vice President-elect @KamalaHarris is our February cover star!
Making history was the first step. Now Harris has an even more monumental task: to help heal a fractured America—and lead it out of crisis. Read the full profile: https://t.co/W5BQPTH7AU pic.twitter.com/OCFvVqTlOk
— Vogue Magazine (@voguemagazine) January 10, 2021
- 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