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Can someone explain the controversy of Kamala Harris' Vogue cover?

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Can someone explain the controversy of Kamala Harris' Vogue cover?
Old 01-11-2021, 03:15 PM
  #1

I see that people are raising lots fuss of the cover photo the editors used for Harris. It looks like her team thought a different picture would be used, but the editors decided on another. I seriously cannot see any problem with the photo and I really don't see any difference between that one and the other one they expected where she's wearing a blue suit. She's a photogenic person regardless.

This has to be a case of social media running amok, right? I don't understand the problem.


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Old 01-11-2021, 03:29 PM
  #2

I see a body language difference and did think that the cover choice was due to the "less intimidating" messaging. There are plenty of other theories online.If I were to expand on the body language choice the original post could be moved to the politics board.
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Old 01-11-2021, 04:08 PM
  #3

I think there are 2 problems as I understand it. First, she was told the picture with the blue suit would be the cover. That was what she approved. Second, some people feel that the picture that was used was disrespectful and too casual. As you said, she looks beautiful in both, but it's just a matter of respecting her office.
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Vogue cover
Old 01-11-2021, 04:12 PM
  #4

I havenít seen either photo. There are always people/groups trying to stir up controversy. Personally, I have loved her since she was here in SF. She is a rising star.
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Old 01-11-2021, 04:37 PM
  #5

The picture of her in her blue suit was truly lovely and a more fitting reflection of her office as VP, IMO.


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Old 01-11-2021, 04:44 PM
  #6

Agree with you Zipline. The other is nice but more casual. She soon will be the Vice President.
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Old 01-11-2021, 04:49 PM
  #7

I had to go look for the pics because I had just casually seen the one that was chosen. I actually like the casual one better, and really didn't see a problem with it - until just now when I saw the other choice and realized it was the one that had been approved.

IMO, I don't think this is the time for the more casual picture. She is the first woman to hold such a high office and respecting that and giving her due at this point in history is a big deal. Right now it's not about a nice picture, it's about celebrating the honor and dignity of a woman being of that "rank." They should have gone with the more formal choice unless she specifically asked them not to. The combo of not using the chosen shot and switching to the less formal shot is kind of a double whammy. The informal shots would have been great inside the magazine with the article. The fact that her skin tone looks lighter than usual, apparently due to the lighting, is also unfortunate.

Last edited by MKat; 01-11-2021 at 05:42 PM..
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Old 01-11-2021, 04:51 PM
  #8

She picked the outfits along with her team. If it is ďtoo casualĒ itís on her. People like to find fault with EVERYTHING these days.
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Old 01-11-2021, 04:55 PM
  #9

She approved the blue suit pic for the cover and they changed it without approval. That's not right.
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Old 01-11-2021, 05:16 PM
  #10

There's a controversy over everything theses days.

My thoughts:
If she aporovef the light blue suit picture that's what should be used
I like both pictures
Light blue suit is more professional and shows a woman in charge
Sneaker picture is definitely more casual, but gives me a vibe that she's approachable.


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Old 01-11-2021, 05:21 PM
  #11

Yes, what others have said about the casual versus the more "powerful" picture.

I have also seen some frustration that she appears to be "white washed"- meaning that her skin is lighter on the covers than it actually is (skin lightening for the "good guys" or darkening for the "bad guys" is something that has been done on many images over time).

I have also heard frustration that the background is really half-assed and not typical of what they do for Vogue covers.
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Old 01-11-2021, 05:27 PM
  #12

Two words: double standard

They wouldnít do a voice pic of a male on the golf course, but they want to see the feminine side of a woman.
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Old 01-11-2021, 06:23 PM
  #13

I don't see why people are making a fuss, but I would prefer to see her in a dress suit. She is famous for her chucks, so that is a good picture of her. I haven't seen a full length picture of her in the blue suit. But I still won't be making the fuss.
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Old 01-11-2021, 07:19 PM
  #14

I think it's because her team agreed to one picture and for some reason they picked another.

I would also say that the expression on her face is better in the picture her team wanted. There's nothing wrong with her face in the other one. I don't know if this makes sense, but in the blue suit, she seems fresh and like it was one of the first pictures they took. In the other one, her face kind of looks like the face you make when it's taking too long to take the picture and you're sort of smiling, but also not.
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I appreciate the responses
Old 01-12-2021, 04:42 AM
  #15

But from what I've read the initial response was from the public who was unaware of any agreement between Kamala's people and Vogue. Their issue was that photo. As some have mentioned here it is the casualness of the photo that is not right for the position she is about to hold. Okay. It doesn't strike me that way, but I can now see how others would disagree with the outfit.

Something that also confused me was the comments about the color choice of the background washing her out. This wasn't an issue of the editors lightening or darkening her skin. I see no mention of that in articles I've read. I think the colors were to have represented her school colors.

And then it sounds like after the negative comments came out that Kamala's team said they had agreed on the other photo to be the cover shot and I think the idea was that the one chosen for the cover by Vogue was to have been used inside the magazine. Casual or not she came to the shoot with clothing of her choice so I'm still confused. Neither photo is bad and both have outfits she chose.

Thanks again for the responses.
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To me
Old 01-12-2021, 04:43 PM
  #16

The cover photo looks like sheís ready to go to work with her tennis shoes on. Itís not glamorous enough for some maybe. But I donít get the big deal.
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Old 01-12-2021, 05:15 PM
  #17

When I think Vogue, I think "powerful women." We can deconstruct the concept of fashion magazines and their relevance in the world, but I believe that when you see a Vogue cover, you're meant to see a powerful woman. Just google "Vogue cover" and do an image search.

Here is one of their latest covers: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/ErYdjhdX...g&name=360x360
Here is a comparison of Michelle Obama and Kamala Harris:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/ErZHujuV...pg&name=medium

Look at the blue suit photograph vs the pink background photograph.
https://storage.googleapis.com/afs-p...0f6b3/800.jpeg

Which one says "powerful woman" to you? Which one fits the Vogue ethos better? Which one looks at all thought out and cover worthy? The one on the right looks like a lighting test. Her expression is slightly taken aback, unfocused; the backdrop is atrocious.

Are there more important battles to wage? Maybe. I think you could make a strong case, though, that representation is powerful and choosing to represent her as a slightly befuddled woman standing against rumpled satin pink sheets makes a statement.

It's not the outfit or whether or not she is beautiful. Vogue photographers absolutely have the ability to shoot her in the suit and Converse and make her look fierce. They chose not to.


ETA:
Quote:
In the other one, her face kind of looks like the face you make when it's taking too long to take the picture and you're sort of smiling, but also not.
I can see this too, and it also undercuts the representation of a "powerful woman in charge" because she can't even control how long she has to get her picture taken.

Last edited by Gromit; 01-12-2021 at 05:31 PM.. Reason: fix image links
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Old 01-12-2021, 05:45 PM
  #18

In looking into it more, I see that American Vogue and Anna Wintour have long been the focus of criticism for their treatment of women of color (and that the Michelle Obama covers aren't necessarily well-liked either). There are a lot of bad American Vogue covers out there, and a quick perusal shows that the international covers do beautiful, powerful women, especially women of color, much better.


And

Quote:
This has to be a case of social media running amok, right? I don't understand the problem.
I don't think it's social media run amok here because this does seem to be a long-standing complaint within the fashion world and communities of color; I think it's fashion conflict reaching the non-fashion world.
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Thanks, Gromit
Old 01-12-2021, 06:09 PM
  #19

Thatís a lot of info and insight that I didnít have.
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