Jan 15, 2021

By Jane Brown

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As the Biden administration prepares to take office next week, there’s a growing controversy over Vogue Magazine’s cover photo of U.S. Vice-President-Elect Kamala Harris.

It’s a casual shot. She’s wearing sneakers and seems unready for the camera. The magazine’s editors chose this photo over a more professional shot of her in a light blue coloured power suit where she smiles directly into the camera.

“But I think the bigger issue is that here’s a woman of colour, ascending to the highest rank in that land that anyone of her gender, her race, her multiculturalism ever has, but they’re treating her like she’s the approachable girl next door,” says Zoomer Magazine Editor Suzanne Boyd, “Why would they choose to do that?”

In a statement to the New York Times, Vogue’s Editor-In-Chief Anna Wintour said: “Obviously we have heard and understood the reaction to the print cover and I just want to reiterate that it was absolutely not our intention to, in any way, diminish the importance of the vice-president-elect’s incredible victory.”

Wintour denied that Harris’s camp and Vogue had agreed on the final image.

“There was no formal agreement about what the choice of the cover would be,” she said. “And when the two images arrived at Vogue, all of us felt very, very strongly that the less formal portrait of the vice-president-elect really reflected the moment that we were living in.”

Listen for Libby Znaimer’s full interview with Suzanne Boyd on The Zoomer Week in Review Sunday at noon on Zoomer Radio, AM 740 and 96.7FM in downtown Toronto.

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