Popular American fashion and lifestyle magazine Vogue drew criticism after releasing the pictures of its February cover page that feature US Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
On the cover, Harris is seen wearing a dark brown blazer with black pants and sneakers with pink and green drapes in the background, reportedly in reference to Harris’ college sorority.
Another picture featured her in a powder blue suit, her arms crossed, in front of a gold background. Take a look here:
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
Many expressed disapproval because they felt the magazine had made Harris’s skin look ‘lighter’.
Later, New York magazine contributor Yashar Ali tweeted that a source familiar with the photoshoot had said that what is on the magazine’s cover was originally to have been used inside the magazine. It also wasn’t the picture she and her team expected to make the cover of the magazine’s print edition.
Some fashion magazine news….
1. The February Vogue cover featuring VP-elect Kamala Harris has been widely criticized on social media this evening
But according to a source familiar with the publication plans, this is not the cover that the Vice President-elect’s team expected pic.twitter.com/lBC9DnfYNC
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) January 10, 2021
According to The Guardian, Vogue told the New York Post that it hadn’t lightened Harris’s skin colour in the photo. However, that response did not pacify people online.
It’s a bad photo. The lighting on her is terrible, the pose is awkward, and she looks like she left work and got lost in the prop room of Bridgerton. She deserves a better photo
— whatever (@banannafanny) January 10, 2021
THIS… compared to THIS! I’m confused as to the low-level styling for a Vogue cover of a groundbreaking Madam VP-Elect. pic.twitter.com/Pt9mFKztY1
— Martha Skoien (@SkoienMartha) January 10, 2021
wow Vogue really did Kamala Harris dirty pic.twitter.com/GEqWqU5RkT
— Dilan Cook (@dilanpcook) January 10, 2021
Kamala Harris is on the cover of Vogue
I just lost my appetite for the day.
— Ashley StClair 🇺🇸 (@stclairashley) January 10, 2021
Twitter seeing how Vogue got Kamala Harris looking on the cover. pic.twitter.com/xizNDHO7Cz
— Jermaine (@JermaineWatkins) January 10, 2021
People, I’ll shoot shots of VP Kamala Harris for free using my Samsung and I’m 100% confident it’ll turn out better than this Vogue cover. We can shoot it in my yard using natural sunlight and it’ll still be better.
— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) January 10, 2021
Here’s 4 images of Kamala Harris that I had *saved in my phone* that are better than that Vogue cover.
I’d say something about how women who exude power in ways that aren’t traditionally read as “feminine” get played in the media, and that’s true. But also Tops Deserve Better!! pic.twitter.com/L3Q8fE1dYh
— Carmen Phillips (@carmencitaloves) January 10, 2021
You COULD have chosen a cover more APPROPRIATE for her position‼️🤬🤬🤬 pic.twitter.com/wBJ7LUHnBX
— Renee Rousseau (@raye8405) January 10, 2021
Kamala deserves so much better. 🤦🏻♀️ Second one with the blue suit is a slight improvement but come on this is so disrespectful.
— Michele Selene Ang (@MicheleSelene) January 10, 2021
Delete the chucks picture and change the cover to the blue suit MVP agreed to…this is disrespectful.
— BlackWomenViews Media (@blackwomenviews) January 10, 2021
It’s hard to imagine a more unflattering shot…and How difficult must it have been to even get one.
— Impeach Now (@pamelap0420) January 10, 2021
The lighting is poor, she doesn’t look fully made up and the quality of the photography and angle aren’t up to the standard of Vogue covers past. It just isn’t quality. pic.twitter.com/Sn6hDsr2QY
— Brooke W (@MamaWetzel) January 10, 2021
Unfortunately, this is not the first time Vogue has drawn criticism for what critics say is the wrongful representation of minorities.
According to the Associated Press, last year, Vogue’s editor in chief Anna Wintour, in an internal email apologised for ‘not doing enough’ to elevate black voices on her staff and publishing images after reports of discrimination directed at people of colour in the organisation came out.
Harris’s appearance on the Vogue comes even as outgoing US President Donald Trump complained last month that his wife Melania Trump had not featured on a single magazine cover in his four years in the White House.
Previous First Lady, Michelle Obama, had featured in numerous lifestyle and fashion magazines’ including the cover of Vogue in December 2016.
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