Vogue Is Being Criticized For Using A ‘Disrespectful’ Image Of Kamala Harris On The Cover

As if Kamala Harris doesn’t have enough to deal with already…

The Vice President-elect is on the cover of Vogue‘s February issue, but her team claims “the cover photo of the country’s soon-to-be No. 2 leader isn’t what both sides had agreed on,” according to the Los Angeles Times. The first African-American woman to be elected vice president is on the cover in a casual black jacket and Chucks that she occasionally wore during the campaign. That image was supposed to appear inside the issue, with this photo of Harris wearing a blue suit in front of a gold background on the cover; instead, Harris was “blindsided” and it’s led to a backlash against the publication.

“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?” one Twitter user wrote, while another added, “Folks who don’t get why the Vogue cover of VP-elect Kamala Harris is bad are missing the point. The pic itself isn’t terrible as a pic. 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.” Many even questioned if the cover was real.

In a statement, Vogue representatives explained that they “loved the images Tyler Mitchell shot and felt the more informal image captured Vice President-elect Harris’s authentic, approachable nature — which we feel is one of the hallmarks of the Biden/Harris administration. To respond to the seriousness of this moment in history, and the role she has to play leading our country forward, we’re celebrating both images of her as covers digitally.” But it’s the image with the black jacket that appears on the more-prestigious print cover, which as the Washington Post‘s Robin Givhan notes, doesn’t “give Kamala D. Harris due respect” for making history. “It was overly familiar. It was a cover image that, in effect, called Harris by her first name without invitation.”

Harris styled herself. She chose her ensembles. But it was ultimately Vogue and its editor in chief, Anna Wintour, that selected the cover… A bit of awe would have served the magazine well in its cover decisions. Nothing about the cover said, “Wow.” And sometimes, that’s all Black women want, an admiring and celebratory “wow” over what they have accomplished.

The reactions continued to roll in:

(Via the Los Angeles Times)