Cover Controversy: Why We Love to Hate Everything

mindy12f-1-webHoly shit, you guys. First of all, calm the F down. Second of all, calm the F down.

So, there’s been all this backlash at Elle for their February 2014 cover(s), which featured Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling, Zooey Deschanel and Allison Williams. The problem? Well, there is no problem, so people just made one up.

People have been freaking out because, while Amy, Zooey and Allison were pictured from head to toe (or at least knees), Elle only showed Mindy from the boobs up. So of course, everyone had to get mad that her full body wasn’t being shown like everyone else. For example, Julia Sonenshein at wrote:

“Here she is on a cover with three women who do fit into the ‘model-skinny’ category, and Elle cropped her body out almost completely. While Poehler, Williams, and Deschanel all displayed about 75% of their whole bodies, Kaling didn’t even get a whole torso…I don’t entirely understand the intention behind releasing four covers that act as a set, but painting one subject specifically as the odd-man-out.”

Here’s the intention: There isn’t one. Elle simply saw this as a beautiful shot and decided to use it on the cover. 

But OK, OK, you’re still pissed. Let’s talk about why you are being incredibly offensive.

First, let’s switch these roles around a bit. Let’s say that it was Allison Williams who was only shown from the chest up. Would there be a controversy? No, because who is going to say, “Why didn’t you show the skinny girl’s entire body? Is she too skinny for you?”

To be clear, what you’re basically saying is, “Why didn’t you show the fat girl like you do everyone else?”

Oh, you don’t see why that’s rude? Besides the fact that you’re singling someone out and calling them fat? Well, she’s not fat. She’s gorgeous. So gorgeous, in fact, that Elle decided they needed to zoom in on that beauty so we can get the full, knock-out effect.

And before you get all up in my face with comments, you should know that Mindy agrees:

Speaking on Letterman last week, she said, “The implication was, ‘What, Elle, you can’t put her big, fat body on the magazine? Why? Cause she’s just fat and gruesome? Why can’t we look at her beautiful fat body?'”


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