US Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be featured on the cover of Vogue in its February issue.

US VP elect Kamala Harris addressing a gathering in a cream-coloured suit Her right hand is slightly raised in mid-speechFile image/PTI
news Controversy Monday, January 11, 2021 - 09:04

Suited in a black blazer, a pair of trousers and sneakers, the Vice President-elect of the United States of America, Kamala Harris, looks ready to take on the world. However, Vogue magazine seems to have “whitewashed” this cover photograph of Kamala Harris, who is set to be the first female, Black and Asian-American Vice President of the US. The fashion magazine is now embroiled in a controversy after it tweeted the photos that will be featured in its February issue, on Sunday.

As per reports, Vogue tweeted two pictures of Kamala Harris — one full-length image in a dark casual attire with sneakers, and another with mid-shot angle, in a powder blue suit. In both, Kamala Harris is seen light-skinned than her actual skin tone, which has now sparked controversy on social media.

Incidentally, Kamala Harris’ team also said that this was not what was agreed upon by both sides prior to the photoshoot. The agreement with Vogue was allegedly to feature the VP-elect in her powder blue suit on the cover and use the one with the dark attire inside the magazine. Her team was reportedly unaware of a switch till the pictures were tweeted. The magazine generally releases pictures of a photoshoot with dummy covers prior to the release of the magazine.

Several people slammed Anna Wintour, the Editor-in-Chief of Vogue, online for ‘whitewashing’ the country’s first female vice president. In 2020, Anna Wintour had written a letter taking full responsibility for Vogue’s insensitive portrayal of minorities in photographs and articles in the past. While she denied to the New York Post that the current images of Kamala Harris have been whitewashed, social media was not ready to accept this. Several users also pointed out how the magazine has not given any thought to a classy portrayal of the first woman of colour who has been elected to one of the highest offices in the country.

Several social media users also slammed Vogue and Anna Wintour over the pictures. “Folks who don't get why the Vogue cover of VP-elect Kamala Harris is bad are missing the point. The picture itself isn't terrible as a picture. It's just far, far below the standards of Vogue. They didn't put thought into it. Like homework finished the morning it's due. Disrespectful,” a Twitter user pointed out.

“Kamala Harris is about as light-skinned as women of colour come and Vogue still f****ed up her lighting. WTF is this washed-out mess of a cover?,” another user questioned.

“Can Anna Wintour explain why she chose what looks like a lighting test photo as the cover for the first female Vice President in US history? Kamala Harris is literally movie-star gorgeous and I've never seen Vogue publish something this amateurish. It needs to be fixed,” another user asked.

Vogue is yet to confirm which of the two images will be used for the cover. Reports also stated that Kamala Harris’ team has expressed disappointment with the magazine’s decision on which images to use on the cover.

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