The good news: Comedian Mindy Kaling is one of four “Women in TV” Elle magazine is feting with its February cover treatment, along with Amy Poehler, Zooey Deschanel, and Allison Williams. (Though, why not Lena Dunham? Hmm ... guess that's a whole different story.) The bad news: Mindy's cover is the only one that doesn't feature a full body shot. Hers is the basically a head shot. Could that be because Kaling is a self-confessed size 8 and Elle -- despite supposedly being oh-so-progressive -- draws the line at putting Mindy's version of curvaliciousness front and center on its cover? We have to wonder ...
Especially considering that Mindy herself has spoken to the fact that the industry can't seem to get behind her "nebulous, 'Normal American Woman Size'" body type ...
She told NPR back in 2011:
Many stylists hate that size because, I think, to them, I lack the self-discipline to be an aesthetic, or the sassy, confidence to be a total fatty hedonist. They’re like, 'Pick a lane.'
Ugh, I could totally see that being the case, and it makes my blood boil. Making matters worse, as Fashionista.com pointed out, Mindy -- the only woman of color to get her own cover -- appears in black and white, while the other (white) actresses appear in full color. Why? It's so obvious that Elle felt they had to do some sort of artistic "damage control" to make her cover sell as well as the others. Because having worked in the mag industry, let me tell you -- that's pretty much ALL they're thinking about when they're choosing the final shot. What are we going to pick up on the stands?
Although Melissa McCarthy claimed that she chose that big trench coat for her controversial cover this past fall, that's similarly suspect ... Both her cover and this one give us an ucky feeling, because they seem so half-assed. Why even BOTHER to be so forward-thinking by showcasing a beautiful woman who isn't model-esque or "conventional" cover material if you're only going to hide her with a cropped-up head shot or big-ass coat? What the $*@# is that about? I say it's cowardice, plain and simple.
Nonetheless, in the meantime, Elle and Mindy have responded to the controversy ... The magazine released the following statement to Us:
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.
And Kaling herself made light of the situation, tweeting:
Ah, well. They can give us as much lip service as they want. Ultimately, if women's magazines want to prove they're down with all different body types, they're going to have to show all different women's bodies -- for real. Cuz we're not buying any of this tip-toeing around it garbage any longer.
What do you think about Mindy Kaling's Elle cover?
Image via Elle