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Vogue to Release New Cover over Backlash of ‘Whitening’ Kamala

The new cover will have more formal portraits of the VP, wearing a light blue pantsuit.

Published
World
2 min read
United States Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is on the cover of Vogue’s February issue. 
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Vogue magazine on Tuesday, 19 January announced that it will publish a limited edition with a new cover of Kamala Harris after critics called out the magazine for ‘poor composition’ and that America’s first woman VP ‘deserves better’. The new cover would have more formal portraits of the VP, wearing a light blue pantsuit.

"In recognition of the enormous interest in the digital cover, and in celebration of this historic moment, we will be publishing a limited number of special edition inaugural issues," a spokesperson for Vogue said, reported The Guardian.

Harris scripted history as the first woman to become vice president of the United States. She will be the first Black woman and the first woman of Indian heritage to occupy the position. But according to social media users, the photos have not done her justice.

Why Was There Backlash for the Original Cover?

Vogue magazine – which released two photos of Harris from its February edition – sparked instant outrage for ‘whitewashing’ or lightening the skin colour of America’s future Vice-President.

Vogue, in a tweet on Sunday, 10 January, made public a photo of 56-year-old Harris wearing her trademark Converse sneakers, standing in front of a pink and green drape – the colours of her university sorority. The other, a more formal one, shows her in a powder blue suit, with her arms crossed in front of a gold background.

Soon after the photos were revealed, many took to social media to slam Vogue for not only lightening Harris’ skin tone but also for not maintaining the quality of the magazine’s usual standards.

American Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour, celebrated as a fashion icon, was called out for Harris’ representation on the cover and said that her team lacked ability to ‘properly style a Black woman’.

Wintour defended the magazine saying there was no intention to ‘diminish’ what Harris had accomplished with the remarkable election victory, reported The Guardian.

Interestingly, the photos were shot by Tyler Mitchell, the now 26-year-old photographer who created a sensation back in 2018 when he became the first Black photographer to shoot the Vogue cover in the magazine’s more than a century-old existence. The September cover had none other than singer Beyoncé, who is said to have picked the photographer herself.

(With inputs from The Guardian)

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