Kamala Harris Vogue cover faces controversy.

Kamala Harris/YouTube

Vogue cover featuring Kamala Harris is so ‘bad’ that people assumed it was fake

Reports claim Harris was blindsided by the photo choice.


Rachel Kiley

Internet Culture

Published Jan 10, 2021

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is set to be featured on the cover of Vogue’s February issue—but the photo chosen for the momentous occasion is drawing sharp criticism on social media.

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Tweets circulated last week of Harris standing against a pink and green background, dressed fairly casually, with her iconic Converse completing the outfit. “VOGUE” fills up the top section of the image, but many initially believed it was a fake cover.

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“KH looks will always be beautiful but you know damn well that background and lighting are poor and lazy execution and there is no excuse for it,” one critic tweeted.

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Vogue soon confirmed that the image circulating is, indeed, a real cover of Vogue scheduled to hit shelves soon. But the drama didn’t end there.

According to journalist Yashar Ali, a “source familiar with the publication plans” said that Harris, her team, and everyone at Vogue actually came to an agreement to have a different, more professional looking photo on the cover.

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Ultimately, the blue suit photo Harris reportedly wanted as her cover wound up being relegated to the digital publication. 

The conversation surrounding Vogue’s decision is less than positive, with many folks immediately ragging on both the publication and famed Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour for the decision to feature the VP-elect in this way.

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“Can Anna Wintour explain why she chose what looks like a lighting test photo as the cover for the first female Vice President in U.S. history?” @notcapnamerica asked.

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A few people tried to come up with reasons as to why this happened.

“Anna wanted to get the shoes in the shot,” suggested Holly Figueroa O’Reilly. “She thought she knew best and she was wrong.

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A number of people also pointed out that U.S. Vogue has a history of failing the Black women it features on its covers, looking to past issues with Simone Biles, Cardi B, and Michelle Obama. “I still don’t think we’ve fully recovered from what Anna Wintour and Annie Leibovitz did to our good sis Symone Biles! I mean!” one said.

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Reports say that the cover has already gone to print, and it’s too late for Vogue to change it based on the overwhelming criticism flooding in online. But if Harris ever poses for the magazine again, it sounds as if it might be wise for Vogue not to do a last-minute change-up regarding the cover photo.

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*First Published: Jan 10, 2021, 3:48 pm CST