Vogue responds to backlash following Twitter’s unhappiness with Kamala Harris’ February cover.
Vogue dropped the image of Harris’ February issue. In the picture, Harris is featured with a powder-blue Michael Kors power suit with her arms crossed and an American flag pin placed on her lapel. The second picture, which has people up in arms, shows Harris in a more casual black Donald Deal jacket. She’s sporting Converse Chuck Taylors, pearls around her neck, with a pink and green backdrop – a nod to her sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
As soon as the images hit the internet, Twitter came full speed calling the photos disrespectful. Several users said the magazine lightened Harris’ skin and intentionally gave her a casual wardrobe to lessen the Vice President-elect’s professionalism. On Monday, Harris’ team told the Associated Press that the images were not the ones that both parties agreed on. CNN and CBS reported that Harris and her team were blindsided by the images. Harris herself has yet to speak out.
“The team at Vogue loved the images Tyler Mitchell shot and felt the more informal image captured Vice President-elect Harris’s authentic, approachable nature – which we feel is one of the hallmarks of the Biden/Harris administration,” Vogue said in a statement to USA TODAY provided by Remi Berger of parent company Conde Nast. “To respond to the seriousness of this moment in history, and the role she has to play leading our country forward, we’re celebrating both images of her as covers digitally.”
Twitter called out America’s long history of white-washing of Black people and portraying Black leaders as less professional and appealing. Some said the images were simply poorly put together, which is unacceptable for Harris. “It’s just far, far below the standards of Vogue. They didn’t put thought into it,” @cmclymer tweeted. “Like homework finished the morning it’s due. Disrespectful.”
Another person wrote, “What a mess up,” @WajahatAli wrote. “(Vogue editor in chief) Anna Wintour must really not have Black friends and colleagues.” He also added, “I’ll shoot shots of VP Kamala Harris for free using my Samsung, and I’m 100% confident it’ll turn out better than this Vogue cover.”
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