A casual photo of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on the February cover of Vogue magazine raised eyebrows among social media users for all the wrong reasons.
The cover photo, taken by Tyler Mitchell, a Black photographer who famously shot Beyonce for the magazine’s cover in 2018, shows Harris wearing her own clothes and trademark sneakers, standing with her arms crossed in front of pink and green drapes.
The Harris camp reportedly expressed its dismay with the chosen photo, saying they had agreed upon another photo of Harris in a powder blue suit and was blindsided by the switch.
Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour defended the decision, telling the New York Times that no “formal agreement” was made with Harris’ people about which photo to use, but that the magazine “absolutely” didn’t intend to slight the vice president-elect
Nevertheless, the cover was blasted as it made the rounds on social media, with one Twitter user referring to it as a “washed out mess,” USA Today reported. Another criticized the photo as being of “poor quality.”
Mitchell, tellingly, decided to post only the photo of Harris in the blue suit to his social media accounts.
Essence magazine’s editors also chided Vogue’s choice, saying Harris deserved better than such a “casual” cover.
“With everything happening in our country and with so many issues to be addressed and resolved globally, the micro-aggression of visually diminishing her position with the chosen cover image is especially disappointing,” the editors wrote. “She should be seen as an inspiration for every young girl and woman around the world to know that they can aspire to heights yet unseen, but she also must be fully respected according to the leadership role she will now hold.”