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Let’s Talk About Why Kamala Harris’s Vogue Cover Upset So Many People

I'll never be able to unsee that pink and green monstrosity.


Vice President Elect Kamala Harris on the cover of Vogue

At first glance, the Kamala Harris Vogue cover controversy sounds frivolous. It’s just a subpar Vogue cover shoot. How serious could it actually be? Plus, I’m here for any content that centers around her as the next Vice President of the United States of America, even fugly photoshoots. Right? But the more you dive into it, the more you see and understand why people are so mad at this photoshoot.

Political figures being featured on the cover of Vogue isn’t a new thing. They’ve shot Hillary Clinton in a full gown and Michelle Obama with her rocking triceps on full display. And besides the racists clutching their pearls at Michelle for daring to show off her arms … no one’s really made a big stink about having such prominent political figures on the Vogue cover. So, what makes Harris’ photos so cringe-worthy?

It’s the lack of caring, for us. For such a world renowned magazine, it seems like they put little to no effort in the chosen photo for the Vogue cover of the first elected WoC Vice President. In the photo, Harris is standing in front of a green and pink backdrop while wearing a dark suit and her trademark Converse sneakers. It’s a simple cover with zero to no effort put into lighting or style, that undoubtedly looks like something my mom could put together in five minutes before I head out the door for prom.

In a statement by Vogue, they said that the cover chosen was meant to celebrate the fact that Harris is approachable. But that doesn’t come off at all when you really look at the photo. Harris looks awkward, uncomfortable, and not at all the powerhouse that we know and love. Also, who in the world would know that the green and pink backdrop represented her sorority colors? Or that she wore these shoes along the campaign trail? I certainly wouldn’t have because I’m not staring at her feet! Not until now, that is.

Then, there’s the fact that this apparently isn’t the cover that Harris and the Vogue team, led by Anna Wintour, mutually agreed upon. In a separate image, Harris is pictured from the waist up in a powder blue power suit. She looks like a force of nature that is here to change the world and lead the charge to get this country on a better track. Harris looks like a leader and someone every little girl of color could proudly look up to.

This is the image that Vogue should’ve gone for and the one that would’ve stuck in our minds as much as Michelle Obama’s did. Instead, we’re left with a super casual photo that is forgettable and a little disappointing. Still don’t get why this photo is lazy and not what people wanted? Let Twitter break it down for you:

(image: Vogue)

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Lyra (She/Her) is a queer Latinx writer who stans badass women in movies, TV shows, and books. She loves crafting, tostones, and speculating all over queer media. And when not writing she's scrolling through TikTok or rebuilding her book collection.