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Kamala Harris’ ‘Vogue’ Cover Spurs Outrage On Social Media

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TOPLINE Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ February Vogue cover reveal has been overshadowed by reports that the magazine used a different image than the one that was agreed upon by its editorial staff and Harris’ team, along with social media criticism that the cover is unflattering and poorly done.

KEY FACTS

  • Vogue revealed two covers featuring the Vice President-elect Sunday, one described as the cover for the print issue and another as a special digital cover.
  • However, journalists Yashar Ali and Politico’s Christopher Cadelago reported the digital cover, featuring Harris in a powder blue suit, was mutually agreed upon to be the primary print cover but was later switched without the knowledge of Harris’ team, an unusual occurrence in the world of fashion magazines.
  • Instead, Vogue went with a cover photograph showing Harris wearing the trademark Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers she donned on the campaign trail, standing in front of a pink and green fabric backdrop, likely a nod to the colors of her college sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha.
  • Despite the personal touches, the print cover was met with harsh criticism from social media users, who said the image washed out Harris’ skin tone and looked cheap and unfitting for a future vice president, and they slammed the magazine for disrespecting Harris by reportedly not using the agreed-upon image for print.
  • It comes in the wake of backlash against longtime Vogue editor Anna Wintour for failing to feature Black creators and foster an inclusive environment.

KEY BACKGROUND

Wintour apologized to Vogue employees in a staff-wide email over the summer in the midst of anti-racism protests for not finding ways to “elevate and give space to Black editors, writers, photographers, designers and other creators.” Shortly after, Vogue’s August 2020 cover was slammed online, with users saying the cover photo of champion gymnast Simone Biles, shot by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz, washed out Bile’s deep skin tone.

FURTHER READING

Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris on the Road Ahead (Vogue)

Anna Wintour Promoted To Condé Nast Chief Content Officer Despite Diversity Criticism (Forbes)

-By Carlie Porterfield, Forbes Staff

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