After Elle featured Melissa McCarthy on one of their Women In Hollywood covers, some people (ahem…this guy) called them out for trying to hide McCarthy’s body in hopes that we’d forget that she doesn’t match the body types of the other cover girls, Penelope Cruz, Shailene Woodley, and Reese Witherspoon. As The Huffington Post puts it: ”critics were quick to point out that the other November cover girls…were all styled in body-conscious outfits that flashed some skin,” as compared to McCarthy who, while looking absolutely stunning, was completely obscured by oversized tarp.
Well it turns out that I wasn’t the only one raging about this, since Elle received so much criticism that they felt compelled to issue a statement defending their cover:
“On all of our shoots, our stylists work with the stars to choose pieces they feel good in, and this is no different: Melissa loved this look, and is gorgeous on our cover. We are thrilled to honor her as one of our Women in Hollywood this year.”
Oh wait guys actually this was all McCarthy’s fault.
As HuffPo points out, this isn’t the first time Elle has treated a larger star differently than slimmer ones in a photo series. In a 2010 shoot:
Gabourey Sidibe was the curvy girl in the bunch… the other cover girls were Megan Fox, Lauren Conrad and Amanda Seyfried. The latter three were photographed from the knees up, showing off their full outfits, while Sidibe’s cover photo was cropped at her chest.
They issued a similar statement in 2010 saying that the cropping was only for artistic purposes and not, you know, to hide her body. It does seem awfully suspect that when Elle features a fat woman, the artistic decision is made to do a smoke-and-mirrors act to show as little of her body as possible.
Hey Elle. Nobody is accusing you of making Melissa McCarthy look ugly. In fact, she looks stunning, because she’s a stunningly gorgeous woman. She’s definitely handling that coat and hair style. But the problem lies in the comparison. It’s not just a matter of wardrobe—the McCarthy portarit is completely different than that of her slimmer counterparts. Just treat all four women the same when you shoot a portrait series, instead of casting the fat one as the odd man out.