Magazine Under Fire for Hiding Melissa McCarthy’s Figure

Melissa McCarthy (Photo: Thomas Whiteside for Elle Magazine)

Elle magazine has come under fire for drowning out actress Melissa McCarthy’s figure in an enormous coat on the cover of their latest issue.

The mag chose McCarthy, along with actresses Reese Witherspoon, Penelope Cruz, Shailene Woodley, Naomie Harris and Marion Cotillard, for the cover of their “Women of the Year” feature.

Unfortunately, while most of the other ladies showed off their curves in tight, figure-hugging ensembles, the publication hid McCarthy under a $2,225 wool cashmere coat by New York City-based designer Marina Rinaldi and covered nearly half of her face with large, coiffed hair.

Elle quickly responded to the negative backlash surrounding the cover, insisting that McCarthy helped choose the controversial outfit.

“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,” a spokesperson for magazine said. “We are thrilled to honor her as one of our Women in Hollywood this year.”

This isn’t the first time the magazine’s “Women of the Year”  feature has come under fire. Every November, Elle features a selection of famous ladies for the spread, many of whom conform to Hollywood’s skinny standard. Last year, plus-sized actress Octavia Spencer was chosen, but only photographed from the neck up for the cover shot.

Elle is hardly the only publication guilty of hiding away Hollywood’s curvy celebrities with closeup face shots. In March of 2012, singer Adele graced the cover of American Vogue in a beautiful photo that only showed off the top half of her body. Similarly, Rolling Stone featured just a head shot of the singer on their April 2011 cover. Before dropping 80 pounds, Jennifer Hudson also fell victim to the closeup cover on a 2007 edition of Vogue.

Despite the controversy surrounding this particular magazine cover, many believe Melissa McCarthy is helping to pioneer a new image of women in Hollywood thanks to her leading roles in films such as “Bridesmaids” and “The Heat.”

“The letters I really love are from young actresses who were worried they had to fit a certain look. They say I’ve opened it up,” McCarthy said in a recent interview with More magazine. “And I don’t just mean plus-size girls. You can push things now. With all the great performances in ‘Bridesmaids,’ it changed how people see funny women.”


The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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