Kamala Harris’ Vogue cover has sparked a big controversy on social media about how female politicians should be projected on magazines. All kinds of questions are being asked on Twitter – Did Vogue light up Harris’ face to lighten her face colour? Was it important to spotlight ‘fashion’ over achievement? Not only has it got Twitterati talking about it but many are comparing Elle and Vogue on their treatment of Kamala Harris on their covers.

While speaking to the Guardian, Anna Wintour said that the Vogue team’s approach to working with Kamala Harris and her team was to “capture her as a leader and as a person, and as she was most comfortable”. She also said that both the looks on the two covers were selected by Vice-President-elect and her team and that Harris has styled and dressed herself for the shoot.

Kamala Harris is United States VP-Elect, and will be the first woman in American history to hold the position of Vice President. She is also the first woman of colour to ever hold such a high political position in United States.

What’s Wrong with the Vogue cover?

To begin with it says in its caption, “Be the people, for the people, the United States of Fashion.” If the caption wasn’t bad enough, observers allege, Vogue increased the lighting on Kamala Harris’ face that makes her look fairer than she is.

One woman on social media even pointed out that Harris’ shouldn’t have been asked to pose on satin curtains. “Beyond that, what the hell is the message!? Garish color choices. An awkward, uncomfortable pose/photo choice (she is striking and powerful when photographed well). And what does standing on silk curtains have to do with the important progress she has made? Bad art, bad taste,” tweeted a certain Alan Mackey.

All this criticism led to Vogue coming out officially with its Instagram update on Harris’ cover. Vogue Magazine put out an instagram post with two covers featuring Kamala Harris. This was their official post on Instagram. The other cover showed America’s first female Vice President elect looking chin up, straight and strong in a grey pantsuit. This Instagram post was done after 12 hours of social media rage over Vogue’s pink cover across the world. Here are the two covers compared.

kamala harris new vogue coverShould powerful women be shown as fashionistas? One social media user pointed out she didn’t feel the need to see the feminine in such leaders? There are many different views on that. For one, many believe not every powerful woman is fashion oriented. Another perspective is also that a powerful woman could love fashion and shopping just as much as another person and needn’t hold back her enthusiasm on those fronts.

Nonetheless, there was nothing stopping this on social times. A Twitter handle called MVP Harris attacked not just the magazine but also its editor Anna Wintour. “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!”

Was Kamala Harris Expecting Another Cover?

According to Yashar Ali, “The February Vogue cover featuring VP-elect Kamala Harris has been widely criticized on social media this evening But according to a source familiar with the publication plans, this is not the cover that the Vice President-elect’s team expected.”

Comparisons with Elle.

Many on social media took to compare the Kamala Harris Vogue cover with that of Harris on Elle.

Did Vogue lighten Harris’ face?

Social Media trolled Anna Wintour, the Editor of Vogue because many felt Harris’ face was lightened up due to the lighting used and questioned why that was needed. Anna Wintour is a British-American journalist who has served as Editor-in-Chief of Vogue since 1988.

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