Twitter Slams Vogue For ‘Whitewashing’ Kamala Harris On Its Cover, Not Putting Enough Effort In Presenting Her

2020 brought a superpower like the United States of America to its knees. But the one joyous moment, the dismissal of POTUS Donald Trump and the election of Joe Biden as the new President and Kamala Harris as the new Vice President, was enough to reignite some fervour in its people. In particular, the election of California Senator Kamala Harris, an immigrant woman of colour, as the first female VP of America, was a huge deal. Even before she begins her term, she’s already a role model for many young girls and women all over the world. So you can imagine that if a magazine like Vogue f**ked up her appearance on its cover, the outrage would be massive.

Welcome to Week 2 of 2021, where Vogue and Anna Wintour are already facing backlash for representing the first female Veep of the United States in such a horrible fashion that you’d think the shoot was one of those DIY projects we’ve all been doing at home. It didn’t take Twitter too long to dissect the covers featuring Harris, which were dropped over the weekend, and figure out all the things wrong with it. From whitewashing the Indian-Jamaican heritage of the VP-incumbent to putting zero effort in making the cover look, say, as impeccable as it would if it were a Kardashian on it, the scrutiny called it all out.

In what looks like too much scandal for our Monday morning coffee, it was revealed by some sources that the cover featuring Kamala Harris in the powder blue suit was actually the one agreed upon by her team to be the Vogue cover. However, we ended up with this atrocity, and that horrendous backdrop which reminds me of when we’d go into photo studios to get our passport photos taken and they had those sheets draped for background. Except, those were close shots. Come on, Vogue, you could’ve done this better.

 The Vampire Diaries and The Originals creator, Julie Plec, clearly gets my taste in men and magazine cover backdrops….

I have half a mind to sic Miranda Priestly on them.

Also Read: Why Kamala Harris Being The First Black Woman And Indian-American Vice President-Elect Of The United States Is A Pretty Epic Deal

Turns out, this controversy invoked some more backlash towards Vogue Editor-in-Chief, Anna Wintour, with people claiming the magazine has done this several times before with celebrities and personalities of colour. It gives the impression that the magazine just does not know how to style and present people who are, for the lack of more impactful and clear phrase, ‘not white’.

Many celebs like Priyanka Chopra and Indians back home have praised the cover, because well, Kamala Harris don’t need no extra light to shine as they bright beacon of inspiration that she is.

However, bad lighting is a nasty mood-spoiler, and there’s plenty of that going on with the Vogue cover. Clearly, Kamala Harris isn’t just an important political figure. She’s also a cultural icon right now, inspiring millions of women that they can be whoever they want to be. Apparently, a perfect Vogue cover is not one of those things. Sigh. When we say representation matters, it doesn’t just include putting people of colour on magazine covers and billboards and in movies and shows that were otherwise whitewashed. ‘Right’ representation matters more, because otherwise, it is all just tokenism.

Jinal Bhatt

A Barbie girl with Oppenheimer humour. Sharp-tongue feminist and pop culture nerd with opinions on movies, shows, books, patriarchy, your boyfriend, everything.

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