Kamala Harris’s historic win was celebrated by many as she became the first female, the first woman of colour, and the first South-Asian person to be elected as the Vice President of the United States. She broke glass ceilings with her victory in the male-dominated arena.
However, her recent Vogue cover, which should have been a visual representation of her landmark win, received tremendous flak on social media.
People online slammed Vogue for multiple reasons:
1) The final shots that are chosen for the cover are not typically Vogue’s style. One of them is informal, where Kamala Harris is seen in a pair of Converse sneakers and smiling uncomfortably. It is a full-frame shot and many expressed how the angle is unflattering and her outfit fails to put across that she is one of the most powerful women in the world.
2) Vogue has allegedly lightened her skin-tone. Whether or not it is due to poor lighting or editing is still a question. But to lighten the skin-tone of a woman whose electoral win is legendary as she is the first woman of colour to be elected as Vice President makes the entire point null and void.
Some even pointed out that if it were a male Vice President, the Vogue cover would have looked entirely different.
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
Have a look at some of the tweets criticizing the cover here:
I like photography. I'm a novice, but even I know how to light a person based on their skin tone.
This leads me to believe that the Vogue photos of Kamala Harris are not just badly lit or from a bad photographer, but chosen because washing out black people makes them look whiter
— Gillian Twining the KeyBard🖊️💻🐈 (@WildNightStudio) January 10, 2021
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
Why’d you lighten her beautiful skin???
— Beth pope (@beth_bethpope) January 10, 2021
The editing is also not up to par. I can't speak to whether the skin lightening issue is from the shoot or post, but the HSL values were not properly adjusted for her skin tone during edits. Every photo editor at Vogue should know the basics of editing photos of people of color
— Eliza (@ghosts_hmu) January 10, 2021
Anna Wintour needs to go. If the only time her team can properly style a black women is when she’s covered in couture then her tenure has ran it course. Look at how Kamala Harris’ Elle cover straight up bodied Vogue. Electric chair! pic.twitter.com/aBVZIho98P
— MVP Harris (@PTA_Daddy) January 10, 2021
Why do you have her in sneakers with my Sorority colors as backdrop?? This is DISRESPECTFUL to Kamala, my Sorors, and to black people! In no way this is how you shoot the first black VP or any VP for that matter. Pull it now!!!
— Lynn (@shuluver1908) January 10, 2021
A man in a prominent position would never be photographed on a cover of a major magazine in jeans and tennis shoes looking uncomfortable. It’s insulting. VP elect Harris is a confident professional. She should be shown proper respect for her powerful role. Use this or similar pic.twitter.com/TOLfd90n7C
— Alia M. Shabazz (@AliaMShabazz) January 10, 2021
Why does your magazine hate Black women so much? Or is it just that your magazine is incapable of seeing Black women as beautiful and worth uplifting, rather than always trying to bring us down a peg with your unflattering features? Are we not ‘real enough’ when we’re beautiful?
— Defund the Police (@Amarachi_E) January 10, 2021
The cover on the right had no business being selected or even offered as an option. Speaks volumes of how they view our Madam Vice President.
— Sammy (@sammycakez_) January 10, 2021
According to NDTV, only the shot of Kamala Harris in the blue pant-suit was supposed to be on the cover. But Vogue used the pink-background image instead against Harris and her team’s knowledge. This was revealed by a source familiar with the shoot.
“Aides to Harris and Vogue had the understanding that the blue suit/gold background would be the cover photo. Without telling Harris’ team, Vogue changed it to the pink/green photo which the Vice President-elect’s team did not agree to,” the source said.
However, while Vogue hasn’t issued an official statement, a source at the magazine denied the above claim and said that Harris and her team finalised the two pictures themselves.
What do you think of this issue? Tell us.