Elle magazine is at the receiving end of a severe backlash for its November cover, which features Melissa McCarthy, after critics slammed the monthly magazine for covering up the plus-sized actress, according to reports.
The 43-year-old actress fronts the annual “Women in Hollywood” issue and is bundled up in a figure-concealing charcoal-hued coat and barely shows any skin, which many say is an attempt by the magazine to cover up McCarthy’s weight.
“This year, Elle‘s token plus-size cover girl is McCarthy, who was photographed in a Marina Rinaldi coat so huge that she could hide her Mike and Molly co-star Billy Gardel underneath,” wrote June Thomas of Slate. “McCarthy’s hair covers a quarter of her gorgeous face, and with her hands stuffed deep into her coat pockets, the only visible flesh is a tiny triangle between the coat’s lapels and the briefest glimpse of calf. Perhaps photographer Thomas Whiteside only knows how to photograph the usual stick insect models, because he clearly has no clue how to highlight McCarthy’s curves.”
The magazine’s alternate covers feature Reese Witherspoon in a Versace dress, Shailene Woodley in a black bathing suit and Penelope Cruz. The Spanish actress was pregnant at the time of the shoot, and does not show her body in the photograph. Instead, a close-up of her face is used as the cover.
Elle magazine defended the cover stating that McCarthy, who is said to have loved the photograph, felt comfortable in the clothes given to her.
“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,” Elle said in a statement cited by the media.