Four of television's brightest female stars — Mindy Kaling, Amy Poehler, Allison Williams and Zooey Deschanel — were chosen to individually cover Elle's February issue, but only one got the up-close, cropped treatment. Can you guess which one?
If your answer was "probably the woman who's on the record saying she's a size 8, not a size zero, and also happens to be the lone woman of color," then congratulations! You get a cookie...which is unfortunately flavored with bitterness and institutionalized inequality.
Maybe the fact that Mindy Kaling was shot in closeup while the other women were shot in Elle's typical 3/4 fashion is just a coincidence. Kaling's photo is practically oozing with glamour so it's not like we can accuse the magazine of publishing a bad or unflattering shot of her. That said, this isn't the first time that Elle has depicted women who are larger than your average cover model in ways that obscure their bodies from view. They recently came under fire for a cover featuring Melissa McCarthy hidden by a coat and another of Gabourey Sidibe in tight closeup. (It turned out in McCarthy's case that she had chosen the coat herself, so who knows — as far as we know, Kaling is all about her torso on up and is thrilled with the cover.)
Website Fashionista also makes this interesting point:
It's perhaps worth noting that Kaling, the only woman of color to get her own cover, is also the only cover image rendered in black and white.
At least one thing's for certain. Kaling is really making me want to try out that whole Veronica Lake hair paired with a blazer thing tout suite.