Kamala Harris Vogue Cover Sparks Controversy

Vogue’s decision to portray Vice President-elect Kamala Harris as “approachable,” rather than powerful, draws criticism and demands for more diversity.

Michaela Stone Cross

January 13, 2021

Kamala Harris Vogue Cover Sparks Controversy
Digital and print covers of 'Vogue' featuring Kamala Harris (Vogue)

Vogue is under fire for its recent cover of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris — a cover most view as sloppy and many view as disrespectful. The photo — which shows a washed-out Harris standing in front of a crumpled pink curtain wearing sneakers and rumpled pants — circulated Black Twitter especially, where users thought it was a fake. 

“The Kamala cover pissed me off so much,” said entrepreneur and investor Hitha Palepu. “Vogue knows better. They know how to photograph women in power. They know how to photograph Black women. All of this was just such BS.” 

Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour made the final call to go with the casual photo, rather than the one photographer Tyler Mitchell preferred, which showed Harris in a powder-blue jacket, looking much more like the woman of power that she is. Wintour said, in her interview with Swisher, that her choice was influenced by COVID.