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Thread: Mindy Kaling & ELLE respond to criticism that her ELLE cover is ‘racist’

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    Default Mindy Kaling & ELLE respond to criticism that her ELLE cover is ‘racist’

    Mindy Kaling & ELLE respond to criticism that her ELLE cover is ‘racist’

    Last fall, there was a kerfuffle about Melissa McCarthy’s ELLE cover, if you remember. Melissa, who is pretty and awesome (as well as pretty awesome), was featured on the cover of ELLE in a bulky coat, with her hair teased up and half-covering her face. Many said ELLE was being sizeist, acting as if their readership couldn’t handle seeing a plus-sized woman in flattering clothes. I didn’t think there was that much to the “controversy” – it would have been nice to see Melissa in some great designer gown, but I actually liked the cover image.

    Maybe the controversy led to a spike in newsstand sales or maybe ELLE is just trolling us all, because there’s a new, similar-sounding controversy. As I covered on Monday, ELLE has four covers for their February issue, with cover girls Allison Williams, Amy Poehler, Zooey Deschanel and Mindy Kaling. As many of you noted, Mindy’s cover is the only one in black & white (all of the white actresses got color covers) and Mindy’s cover image is the only headshot (the other actresses get to show off their figures). So, is this a racist and sizeist? Is this yet another example of “institutionalized inequality” in editorials, as Jezebel claims?

    Three months after Melissa McCarthy’s covered-up look on the cover of Elle created “Jacket Gate,” the fashion magazine is under fire again, this time for how it’s featured comedienne Mindy Kaling on its “Women in TV Issue” cover.

    The Mindy Project star, 34, is one of four women to cover the February 2014 issue, which also features Amy Poehler, Zooey Deschanel, and Allison Williams on separate covers.

    The controversy over Kaling’s cover? The sole woman of color to be included, Kaling poses in a close-up, black-and-white shot versus the other three women’s full-color, almost-full body images.

    Kaling is open about her size 8 figure on both, The Mindy Project, and in her memoir, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns). Critics are bashing the cover, saying the magazine purposefully hid Kaling’s fuller figure with a cropped shot.

    But Elle released a statement to Us Weekly about Kaling’s image, defending its choice.

    “Mindy looks sexy, beautiful and chic. We think it is a striking and sophisticated cover and are thrilled to celebrate her in our Women in TV Issue.”

    [From Us Weekly]

    Case closed? Eh. While it makes me uncomfortable that ELLE’s editors seemed to go out of their way to otherize Mindy’s cover, I’m still in a place where I’m side-eyeing the fact that Mindy has gotten so few magazine covers in the past two years. The Mindy Project is a hit show, and it’s also one of the best-written comedies on TV right now. Mindy is lovely, as is Chris Messina (he’s a total doll who steals every scene he’s in, quite honestly), but both Mindy and Chris have been shunned from all of the awards nominations (while Zooey Deschanel keeps getting nominated for subpar work). When was the last time Mindy was on the cover of ANY major magazine? If we’re really having a discussion about racism and sizeism in magazine editorials, let’s really have the conversation about Hollywood in general and how it sucks that it seems like everyone’s default position is to marginalize Mindy Kaling about EVERYTHING.

    Cele|bitchy | Mindy Kaling & ELLE respond to criticism that her ELLE cover is ‘racist’

    pics & twitter caps at the link.
    can't post pics because my computer's broken and i'm stupid

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    who?
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    ^from mindy project and the office.
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    can't post pics because my computer's broken and i'm stupid

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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    I thought that Amy Poehler and Mindy Kaling are about the same body type?

    ETA - there is a pretty funny tweet from Kaling that says:

    "I love my Elle Magazine cover. It made me feel glamorous and cool. And if anyone wants to see more of my body, go on thirteen dates with me."

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    the loonies at jezebel were all offended and outraged over this yesterday because elle has 4 covers this month and mindy's is the only one that's in black and white and a close-up while the other 3 show the women's bodies.




    so they were going on and on about how it's racist and fat-shaming because mindy is the only one that's not white and because she's the least thin of the 4.


    i doubt there's anything to the racist claim - i mean, even in black and white you can tell she's not white so i think it's stupid to claim elle was trying to pass her off as 'less ethnic'. there might be something to the body thing though. amy poehler's not exactly model skinny but she's proportional whereas mindy's super short and a total apple shape with a kinda blocky torso and skinny legs. but it's elle, it's a fashion magazine, what did they expect? news flash: fashion magazines want to feature women with nice thin bodies on their covers. world explodes in disbelief.
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    Elite Member darksithbunny's Avatar
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    Maybe not so much about racism, but sizeism. Just don't buy Elle magazine. I don't.
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    I'm calling bullshit on the article saying she's a size 8. now I don't care what size she is but how are you going to write an article against fat shaming and in praise of women of all sizes and then lie about actual size?

    Also, if she'd taken a great body shot pic, I'm sure a little photoshop could have been employed to satisfy Elle's fashion reputation. I'm guessing the face shot was just the best picture.

    Lastly, who gives a shit?
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    Quote Originally Posted by darksithbunny View Post
    Maybe not so much about racism, but sizeism. Just don't buy Elle magazine. I don't.
    what fashion magazine isn't?
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    Quote Originally Posted by MohandasKGanja View Post
    I thought that Amy Poehler and Mindy Kaling are about the same body type?

    ETA - there is a pretty funny tweet from Kaling that says:

    "I love my Elle Magazine cover. It made me feel glamorous and cool. And if anyone wants to see more of my body, go on thirteen dates with me."
    I think Amy just had a bunch of pre & post-pregnancy weight for quite a while. IIRC, she started off fairly thin on SNL years ago.
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    Gold Member Lalasnake's Avatar
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    The Melissa McCarthy cover was awful. It looked like a street pic that was photoshopped by a junior high journalism student. Mindy's cover definitely stands out as a "one of these things is not like the other" issue, but it looks better than Melissa McCarthy's cover. I agree that it's probably more about size than race.

    I want Zooey Deschanel's dress.

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    Elite Member Beeyotch's Avatar
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    Oh she's always had a rail thin boyish body until she had kids. Total ectomorph. She was playing Andy's little sister on Conan's show well into her 20's.

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    I hate the hands to the face poses that Zoey and whoever that chick on the end have. Amy's vaj jay jay area looks awkward.

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    I don't see what the problem is. Mindy herself has said that she liked the cover and is happy with the way it looks. I actually find her cover much more glamorous and appealing than the dime-a-dozen heavily photoshopped full body shots where the star is awkwardly trying to look sexy.

    Maybe she asked them to focus on her face instead of her body.

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    They photoshop everyone anyway, and it is easy to make someone look thinner, so whatever, this is dumb. They probably just decided that particular image was most striking.
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    I like Mindy's cover out of all of them. It's a beautiful photo

    Amy's looks odd... why would they choose a photo with her hair covering most of her face and almost drunk-looking smirk? And the focus point of the photo being her crotch region?

    Zooey's looks amateur... Looks like a Glamour Shots Photo from Sears, where they put you into stiff 4 poses

    And Allison looks like Kristen Stewart with a mutated-looking hand.

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