Elle magazine steps in it (again) with Mindy Kaling cover

01/10/2014 8:19 PM

01/10/2014 8:19 PM

Which of these things is not like the other?

Four new Elle magazine covers feature women on TV, and Mindy Kaling is the only one not shown from the thigh up or in color.

And why is that, Elle?

That’s what a lot of people want to know after seeing the magazine’s February covers.

Three of them show Zooey Deschanel, Amy Poehler and “Girls” star Allison Williams in poses that show most of their bodies.

But “The Mindy Project” star’s cover, while stunning, shows only her face. And she’s the only actress shown in black and white.

“I don’t entirely understand the intention behind releasing four covers that act as a set, but painting one subject specifically as the odd-man-out,” writes Julia Sonenshein on

TheGloss.com

, a fashion website.

This is the second time that Elle has given questionable cover treatment to a celebrity with womanly curves.

In November when Elle featured Melissa McCarthy, Reese Witherspoon, Shailene Woodley and Marion Cotillard on separate “Women in Hollywood” covers, McCarthy appeared covered up in a voluminous designer coat while the other women showed a lot more skin.

McCarthy later said that she chose to wear the coat herself, but that didn’t stop critics from accusing the fashion magazine of purposefully hiding the plus-sized actress.

This time around, Elle defended itself by telling E! News that “Mindy looks sexy, beautiful and chic. We think it is a striking and sophisticated cover and are thrilled to celebrate her in our Women in TV Issue.”

But that comment misses the point, writes Sonenshein.

“Of course she looks ‘sexy, beautiful, and chic.’ You could put Kaling in a trash bag full of dead animals and she’d still look beautiful, because she’s extremely photogenic and gorgeous,” she writes. “The issue is that Elle treated Kaling differently from the other actresses, and I’m unable to believe that it’s unintentional.

“... women who don’t fit the very narrow, conventional mold get treated differently, and then they have to thank the magazines, TV shows, and media outlets for paying attention.”

Kaling, who has described her size 8 figure as “not model-skinny, but also not super-fat,” is (not surprisingly) laughing off the controversy.

“I love my @ELLEmagazine cover,” she tweeted on Tuesday. “It made me feel glamorous cool. And if anyone wants to see more of my body, go on 13 dates with me.”

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