Vogue tweeted its latest magazine covers on Sunday which featured the US vice-president-elect Kamala Harris. The February cover instantly sparked controversy for whitewashing the first woman of colour to be elected as VP and for not putting enough thought into the cover.
Kamala Harris, a woman of Indian and Jamaican heritage looked whiter on the cover. Harris is wearing a dark casual attire with sneakers in one photograph and a powder blue suit in another. In both images, she looked light-skinned than her actual skin tone.
A user wrote that "Kamala Harris is about as light-skinned as women of colour come and Vogue still fucked up her lighting".
The first female, Black and Asian-American Vice President of the US, however, looks powerful in the photographs.
Another controversy sparked by the images is how badly designed they are. One user called it "a washed-out mess of a cover". In one of the images, Harris is standing in front of a glossy pink silk drape. While the picture is not bad, it is far from the usual standards of Vogue. New York Times contributor Wajaht Ali wrote that he will shoot better images of VP Kamala Harris using his Samsung phone.
Another user wrote: “Can Anna Wintour explain why she chose what looks like a lighting test photo as the cover for the first female Vice President in US history? Kamala Harris is literally a movie-star gorgeous and I've never seen Vogue publish something this amateurish. It needs to be fixed".
Many are calling Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour for the "disrespectful" portrayal. Wintour had written a letter last year in which she apologised to staff members for "mistakes in publishing photographs and articles seen as insensitive to minorities".
She had written that Vogue has not found enough ways to elevate or give space to Black editors, writers, photographers, designers, and other creators. She took full responsibility for the hurtful and intolerant acts of the magazine.
Regarding the recent controversy, Wintour denied to the New York Post that the images of Kamala Harris are whitewashed.
Kamala Harris' team expressed disappointment and added that the agreement with Vogue was allegedly to feature the VP-elect in her powder blue suit on the cover and use the one with the dark attire for inside the magazine.