Vogue Photoshoot of Kamala Harris brings in criticism for “Whitewashing”

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Kamala Harris will appear on the cover of the February issue of Vogue, and the magazine shared two photos on Twitter on Sunday. In one, Harris is seen wearing Converse sneakers and a black Donald Deal jacket; and standing in front of a pink-and-green drape. In the other, she is in a powder blue Michael Kors suit, standing; in front of gold background with her arms crossed.

Vogue has since faced criticism on social media; by people accusing it of “whitewashing” the woman who on January 20 will become America’s first black woman Vice-President.

People have said the pictures are like “homework finished the morning it due”, “amateurish”, and a “mess”, and have wondered; if her skin tone had been “whitewashed”. On social media, user said, “Every photo editor at Vogue; should know the basics of editing photos of people of colour.”

The Vie President-elect’s team has not said anything on the debate. But some reports have suggested the image of Harris in the blue suit was mutually selected; by both sides for the cover, and that Vogue added the pink-green one, which was supposed to be used on an inside page.

The tabloid New York Post claimed both covers were selected by Harris and her team, and that Harris personally picked the green-and-pink background; as they were the colours of her college sorority.

Dame Anna Wintour, Editor-in-Chief of the magazine, denied to the New York Post that the images were “whitewashed”. Vogue says the less official-looking pictures speak to her “authentic, approachable nature, which we feel is one of the hallmarks of the Biden-Harris administration”.

In the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement last year, Wintour took responsibility for the magazine’s insensitive; portrayal of minorities in previous years, saying that “recognizing and doing something about the hate, violence, and injustice; for people of colour is long overdue.”


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