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Kamala Harris’ First Vogue Cover Sparks Racial Controversies

(POP NEWS EDITION) Vice President-elect Kamala Harris graced the cover of the February 2021 issue of Vogue, but controversy over the selected cover photo overshadowed her magazine debut.

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris stepped into the fashion realm as the cover star of American Vogue’s February 2021 issue. 

While the photoshoot intended to be a progressive step toward increased representation for women of color and women in power in high fashion media, critics are speaking out against the high fashion publication for the apparent whitewashing of her skin tone and the photoshoot falling short of Vogue’s editorial standards. 

The photograph, released on Twitter, showed Harris with her arms crossed, wearing a dark suit and her trademark Converse sneakers in front of a pink and green backdrop – an ode to Harris’ sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha.

Twitter users quickly called out the magazine, stating that the magazine appeared to have lightened Harris’ skin. A source from Harris’ team says that the final cover image is not the photograph both sides agreed on. Apparently, Harris’ team, along with the editorial team at Vogue and Anna Wintour, selected the photo of Harris donning a light blue suit. A few hours later, Vogue shared the second image. 

The images were shot by 26-year-old photographer Tyler Mitchell, one of the youngest African-American photographers to have shot the cover of Vogue. Mitchell previously shot Beyoncé for Vogue’s famed September issue.

Neither Mitchell nor Harris’ team has issued a statement surrounding the controversies. The Los Angeles Times reports that Vogue released a statement defending its artistic choices, including depicting Harris as more casual to reflect her “authentic, approachable nature, which we feel is one of the hallmarks of the Biden-Harris administration.” 

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