Vogue magazine accused of ‘disrespecting’ Kamala Harris with ‘lazy’, ‘washed-out’ cover

The cover has sparked anger and dismay amongst social media users who have described it as ‘lazy’ and ‘disrespectful.’ — AFP pic
The cover has sparked anger and dismay amongst social media users who have described it as ‘lazy’ and ‘disrespectful.’ — AFP pic

PETALING JAYA, Jan 11 — Vogue magazine is getting flak on social media for featuring a “washed-out” photo of future US vice-president Kamala Harris on their February cover.

The image shows a smiling Harris in a black jacket and Converse sneakers posing against a pink and green background.

Many social media users were disappointed with the photo, saying it was far below the standards expected from a renowned fashion publication.

“The Vogue cover is horribly lit, the backdrop lazy, and in a colour meant to wash out Kamala Harris’ beautiful skin tone,” said one Twitter user.

“They didn’t put thought into it. Like homework finished the morning it’s due. Disrespectful,” wrote another.

Others also claimed that Vogue has a history of churning out mediocre photos for its Black cover stars and cited rapper Cardi B and gymnast Simone Biles as examples.

CNN reported that Harris’ team was “blindsided” by Vogue’s decision as they were under the impression that a different photo of Harris in a powder blue Michael Kors suit against a gold backdrop would be used as the cover.

Instead, the photo has been used as a second cover for the magazine’s digital edition while the photo with the green and pink background will be on the print version.

A source told CNN that Harris’ team has requested a new cover from Vogue but that may be difficult to carry out as the magazine went to the presses in mid-December.

CNN quoted a Vogue spokesperson who emphasised that they “loved the images and felt the more informal image captured vice president-elect Harris’ authentic, approachable nature.”

The spokesperson declined to comment on the discussions between the magazine and Harris’ reps over the cover image.

In an accompanying Vogue article, photographer Tyler Mitchell said the green and pink background of Harris’ cover was a tribute to the politician’s sorority days at Howard University’s Alpha Kappa Alpha, which is known for being the “first historically African American sorority.”

The article added that Harris made her own styling choices at the photoshoot and that the cover image “reflects Harris at her casual best.”

Harris is set to make history in the US when she becomes the first woman and person of colour to enter the White House as vice president.

She will be sworn in alongside president-elect Joe Biden on January 20.

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