Vogue US is getting slammed left and right by netizens with accusations of “whitewashing” Kamala Harris. On 10th January, Vogue US released two pictures of their February cover which will feature the current US Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
Here is the release tweet:
Vice President-elect @KamalaHarris is our February cover star!
Making history was the first step. Now Harris has an even more monumental task: to help heal a fractured America—and lead it out of crisis. Read the full profile: https://t.co/W5BQPTH7AU pic.twitter.com/OCFvVqTlOk
— Vogue Magazine (@voguemagazine) January 10, 2021
The pictures are captured by 26-year-old Tyler Mitchell. In the first picture, Harris is wearing a black Donald Deal blazer, a pair of trousers with her trademark Converse sneakers. She has paired the blazer with a white top and has accessorised herself with a pearl necklace. In the second picture, she’s wearing a blue blazer on a yellowish background.
These photographs have outraged the netizens and Vogue has been facing backlash ever since its release. Social media users are accusing Vogue of “whitewashing” Kamala Harris and failing to keep the high standard for photographs it is known for.
LGBTQ activist Charlotte Clymer tweeted saying “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.”
Here are other reactions from the micro-blogging platform Twitter:
First, this is a weak shot. A lot of people have complained about the backdrop, but it could absolutely work if used correctly. Here? Not so much. The pose is unflattering, Harris looks uncomfortable, the angle of the photograph is unsophisticated, and the lighting is poorly done
— Eliza (@ghosts_hmu) January 10, 2021
The lighting is poor, she doesn’t look fully made up and the quality of the photography and angle aren’t up to the standard of Vogue covers past. It just isn’t quality. pic.twitter.com/Sn6hDsr2QY
— Brooke W (@MamaWetzel) January 10, 2021
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? pic.twitter.com/5O2q0axA0G
— E. Vaughan (@HypeVaughan) January 10, 2021
It speaks volumes when someone’s Wikipedia photo is better than the vogue cover photo. pic.twitter.com/QHnALT6Bzm
— laura ☃️ (@lauratellsjokes) January 10, 2021
Super disappointing. It’s rare that US Vogue puts Black women on the cover, and when you do, we can tell how much you (don’t) care for us… 😕 https://t.co/NNGPeTGeZW
— Ebony Elizabeth Thomas (@Ebonyteach) January 10, 2021
According to a source that is familiar with the photoshoot, the image of Harris in the blue suit was the only one that was agreed by Harris’s side. The source claimed, “Aides to Harris and Vogue had the understanding that the blue suit/gold background would be the cover photo. Without telling Harris’ team, Vogue changed it to the pink/green photo which the Vice President-elect’s team did not agree to.”
Another source reported that the image with the pink drape was intended to be used inside the magazine. The source claimed that Harris’s team was “blindsided”.