KAMALA HARRIS

Vogue's Kamala Harris Cover Was an Underwhelming Miss — and Her Supporters Want to Know Why

The criticism of the cover runs the gamut from way the photograph is lit, which some say washes out her features, to the overall styling that others say fall far short of capturing the country's first Black woman to be elected vice president.

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This story originally appeared on LX.com

You can do better Vogue.

That seemed to be the consensus opinion spreading across social media following sharp criticism of a cover featuring Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. The portrait features Harris against a sloppily draped backdrop wearing a dark blazer and pants plus the Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers she sometimes wore on the campaign trail.

The criticism of the cover runs the gamut from way the photograph is lit, which some say washes out her features, to the overall styling that others say fall far short of capturing the magnitude and gravity of the country's first Black woman to be elected vice president.

"Ugh! Black women have to fight for everything-- even decent covers," wrote one social media user on Twitter.

"You should be embarrassed to have had such poor judgment on this cover," wrote another Twitter user. "You owe America and the newly elected Vice President an apology for being so stupid."

One other Twitter user added, "She is VP-elect & will be 2nd in command of our nation. Your top priority should be to show her strength, power, beauty & professionalism. The cover choice is sad & disrespectful. Ability to kick back & connect in sneakers is secondary."

Washington Post Senior Critic-at-Large Robin Givham added her voice to the conversation, writing the Vogue cover presents Harris "more like a political candidate than someone who is soon to be the second-highest-ranking federal official in the land."

"The image has the feel of a test shot. Of a Polaroid," Givham wrote. "This informal picture, against a backdrop of pink and green fabric that alludes to the colors of her Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, lacks any of the signifiers of authority and grandeur. Her history-making rise is not telegraphed by a formal setting, a business suit or a confrontational stance. The only thing that announces the importance of the picture is the woman in it."

As criticism swirled some even called for Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour to step down. Vogue received similar critiques on photographing Black stars in July when Simone Biles covered the magazine.

Adding to the controversy, Harris' team reportedly said the cover shot was not what both sides had agreed upon. There was another photo in which Harris wears a powder-blue suit as she crosses her arms and smiles at the camera. This photo appeared on the Vogue digital site. Her team was reportedly unaware that the cover photo had been switched until images leaked late Saturday, according to a person involved in the negotiations over how Harris would be featured on the cover.

In a statement, Vogue said it went with the more informal image of Harris for the cover because the photo captured her "authentic, approachable nature, which we feel is one of the hallmarks of the Biden-Harris administration.”

But the magazine said it released both images as digital magazine covers to “respond to the seriousness of this moment in history, and the role she has to play leading our country forward.”

Harris is set to be sworn in as vice president on Jan. 20.

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