What the Elle?

Precious fans everywhere were undoubtedly excited to learn that Gabourey Sidibe would be one of the stars that Elle magazine chose to put on its cover to celebrate notable women in their 20s. But once the cover was released though, folks were disappointed, to say the least.  

Writers like Julianne Hing at ColorLines pointed about the horrible weave (it looks like a Brillo pad) and the unflattering cropping of the photo:  

By cropping Sidibe’s cover photo so close, Elle may have been trying to hide her full-figured body—its own travesty—but they only made her seem bigger. Sidibe doesn’t get the standard female cover photo treatment: three-quarters of the woman’s body centered with strong margins of white space on either side of the woman. She gets a uniquely awkward cropped shot.

And I’ll just say what I know you’re thinking: the weave Elle gave her is not doing Sidibe any favors. It’s the kind of unflattering and embarrassingly obvious weave that a fashion magazine should be ashamed to put on anyone. (And Elle’s done it to Beyonce in the past, too.)

But the thing that has upset folks most and even captured the attention of the mainstream media is Sidibe’s complexion. On the Elle cover the Oscar-nominated actress is noticeably lighter than usual. See:

A spokeswoman for Elle told ABCNews.com that “nothing out of the ordinary was done” with Sidibe’s cover. “We have four separate covers this month, and Gabby’s cover was not retouched any more or less than the others.”

But the difference in skin complexion is hard to ignore. What do you think of the cover? 



  1. in my Charles Barkley voice…TERRIBLE JUST TERRIBLE

  2. I understand she’s lighter on the cover but so are most of us because the lighting is usually different for black folks. We can complain but if they used regular options and she turned out much darker than that would have been an issue to. What do we say before we take pictures, as people of color, “I hope the flash is on.”

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