Mindy Kaling & ELLE respond to criticism that her ELLE cover is ‘racist’

mindy elle

Last fall, there was a kerfuffle about Melissa McCarthy’s ELLE cover, if you remember. Melissa, who is pretty and awesome (as well as pretty awesome), was featured on the cover of ELLE in a bulky coat, with her hair teased up and half-covering her face. Many said ELLE was being sizeist, acting as if their readership couldn’t handle seeing a plus-sized woman in flattering clothes. I didn’t think there was that much to the “controversy” – it would have been nice to see Melissa in some great designer gown, but I actually liked the cover image.

Maybe the controversy led to a spike in newsstand sales or maybe ELLE is just trolling us all, because there’s a new, similar-sounding controversy. As I covered on Monday, ELLE has four covers for their February issue, with cover girls Allison Williams, Amy Poehler, Zooey Deschanel and Mindy Kaling. As many of you noted, Mindy’s cover is the only one in black & white (all of the white actresses got color covers) and Mindy’s cover image is the only headshot (the other actresses get to show off their figures). So, is this a racist and sizeist? Is this yet another example of “institutionalized inequality” in editorials, as Jezebel claims?

Three months after Melissa McCarthy’s covered-up look on the cover of Elle created “Jacket Gate,” the fashion magazine is under fire again, this time for how it’s featured comedienne Mindy Kaling on its “Women in TV Issue” cover.

The Mindy Project star, 34, is one of four women to cover the February 2014 issue, which also features Amy Poehler, Zooey Deschanel, and Allison Williams on separate covers.

The controversy over Kaling’s cover? The sole woman of color to be included, Kaling poses in a close-up, black-and-white shot versus the other three women’s full-color, almost-full body images.

Kaling is open about her size 8 figure on both, The Mindy Project, and in her memoir, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns). Critics are bashing the cover, saying the magazine purposefully hid Kaling’s fuller figure with a cropped shot.

But Elle released a statement to Us Weekly about Kaling’s image, defending its choice.

“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.”

[From Us Weekly]

Case closed? Eh. While it makes me uncomfortable that ELLE’s editors seemed to go out of their way to otherize Mindy’s cover, I’m still in a place where I’m side-eyeing the fact that Mindy has gotten so few magazine covers in the past two years. The Mindy Project is a hit show, and it’s also one of the best-written comedies on TV right now. Mindy is lovely, as is Chris Messina (he’s a total doll who steals every scene he’s in, quite honestly), but both Mindy and Chris have been shunned from all of the awards nominations (while Zooey Deschanel keeps getting nominated for subpar work). When was the last time Mindy was on the cover of ANY major magazine? If we’re really having a discussion about racism and sizeism in magazine editorials, let’s really have the conversation about Hollywood in general and how it sucks that it seems like everyone’s default position is to marginalize Mindy Kaling about EVERYTHING.

Now, that being said, Mindy doesn’t have a problem with ELLE. She took to Twitter yesterday to respond to the controversy:

mindy tweet


Photos courtesy of WENN, ELLE.

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125 Responses to “Mindy Kaling & ELLE respond to criticism that her ELLE cover is ‘racist’”

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  1. Hubbahun says:

    Being a woman of colour myself I don’t see this as racist – Mindy looks beautiful! IMHO she’s far more attractive than a lot of those actresses who are touted as ‘most beautiful’. Gorgeous in every way.

    • Anna says:

      I think of those 4, her cover ties with Amy P. as the most successful – an awesome triumph over the young, thin and conventionally pretty Zoey and Allison.

    • Stef Leppard says:

      ITA she looks beautiful on that cover. And what? Is the fact that it’s black-and-white supposed to hide her skin color? It doesn’t, so… But then again, I’m white, so maybe I’m not sensitive to these things like a person of color would be. Anyway, she looks great and her Twitter responses are funny :)

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      She looks incredible on the cover. Is it racist? Eh….undecided. I can’t help but find it strange that hers would be the only cover that’s B&W and a headshot though.

      On a personal note, while I have yet to see her new show, I’ve always loved Kalig. Such a talented lady..

    • Jacqueline says:

      I saw all four covers together and the thought never crossed my mind. Mindy looks beautiful, they all do! It didn’t even dawn on me that Mindy’s cover was set apart.

      • Wiffie says:

        Maybe her pic is so damn beautiful, they chose to zoom in, and BW is notoriously used when the intent is to emphasize the sheer beauty, and not distract with colors- of clothes, hands, nails, hair… Her photo looks stunning, and zoomed in, none of the other women’s photos would have been that striking. I’m not playing the race card here- i’m going with playing favorites. I think they all are lovely and I am huge fans of Amy, and I like Zooey enough (don’t know Allison, or watch girls) but I think Mindy’s stands out.

      • YoungHeartOldSoulNewView says:

        I came here to say your exact words, Wiffie. Close up, black and white shots are used to focus on the subject more intensely– which to me says that Elle recognized Kaling’s beauty and wanted to show it off in a very in-your-face way, which I fully support. We know she’s brown yall, even in black-and-white, and we know she is gorgeous too. Her size (and the size of the other ladies, really) shouldn’t matter, so who cares if one gets a full body and one gets a close up? They all looked GREAT. And Kaling was fine with it. So this is a non-story.

      • gefeylich says:

        it occurred to me immediately. Come on! I don’t think it’s particularly racist, but Kaling’s Elle cover DOES fall into the tight “fat girl” headshots that American fashion magazines always foist on fuller-figured actresses and celebrities (McCarthy/Elle, Adele/Vogue).

        Everyone is always overly photoshopped on these covers, but even so fashion magazines consider non-size-2s to be the kiss of death, circulation-wise (Adele’s Vogue cover was one of the lowest selling in their history). So of course the tiny girls get full body shots while the round girl only gets her face on the cover. It’s simple economics to them.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      She does look beautiful, however, I think it is natural for people to wonder why the covers were released as a “set of 4″ when 3 are all similar in both coloring and body shot and 1 is completely different. It IS very different from the other covers in the set. I don’t blame people for wondering why.

      Personally, I love her skin tone and I would have loved to have seen it here.

  2. Leah says:

    Mindy is class act. I agree with your comments about her vs Zooey Deschanels show.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Me, too. I love Mindy’s show. NG is very juvenile to me. But I read that her show might be put on hiatus or cancelled? I would be so disappointed.

    • SnarkySnarkers says:

      I think I’ve disliked Zooey Deschanel since I heard her horrible singing on a cotton commercial. She really grates on my nerves for some reason. The only time I liked her was when she played Mary Kate Olsen on the SNL skit that made fun of her. Now that I gotten that out of my system…

      Mindy looks gorgeous and I’m one to think questioning racism in every little thing is overblown BUT, it is strange to me if her cover really is the only headshot and BW they’ve done? Maybe more sizeist than racist since BW doesn’t hide that her skin is darker? Im not sure? If shes ok with it then I guess I am too?

  3. Lori says:

    SO the minute a magazine puts someone a little different on a cover everyone screams “try harder”. Why not scream “keep it up”? Mindy’s cover was the prettiest of the group. Tell the magazine people that and maybe they keep trying new things. DOn’t tell them they failed and expect them to keep making change.

  4. Dani2 says:

    Okay, but why the grayscale though? Everybody else’s was in colour, I’m sorry I just don’t completely see how they can explain the grayscale in a way that’s not related to her colour. Mindy has gorgeous skin and she’s beautiful, why did they not do that for anyone else?

  5. Shopperetta says:

    I think she looks hot and have no problem with the head shot. I just wish her cover was in color!

  6. momoftwo says:

    Baby steps…As an Indian woman I can say I am so excited she is on the cover. I remember growing up kids didn’t even know there was an India (“Who’s your chief?” was a common question).

    Things will change, but they change slowly.

  7. blue marie says:

    Ha, I love Mindy and her responses, so fun. As for marginalizing Mindy, I watched her show when it first started and it wasn’t as good as NG at the time to me, so I quit watching. However, after reading about how much better it had gotten, I started watching again and love it. Maybe there are people like me who just haven’t come back yet? (seriously if you haven’t, go watch it)

    • MrsBPitt says:

      I started watching it at the beginning too, and didn’t think it was very good…I love New Girl, but not for Zooey…the guys are hysterical, and I wouldn’t even miss Zooey if she wasn’t on it…maybe, I’ll give Mindy’s show another try!

    • Tracy says:

      It is a pretty funny show. Love Mindy!

    • emmie_a says:

      bluhare: I agree. Her tweet about seeing more of her body after 13 dates was absolutely perfect!! I am a huge Mindy fan – she can do no wrong in my book and I love her cover. One of the reasons I love it is because it’s very fresh and natural looking – it actually looks like Mindy. The other covers were very glam and staged looking, which is fine of course but Mindy’s has a warm, cozy feeling to it, which is how I think of Mindy.

      As for her show, I’ve watched it from the start and I love it. Kaiser called it a ‘hit’ show but unfortunately it’s far from that and it’s been on the verge of getting cancelled quite a few times. The stories are funny and witty and the cast and guest stars are top-notch. So watch The Mindy Project — you won’t be disappointed!! (I didn’t watch last night’s episode yet — but all I know is I don’t want Mindy and Danny to hook up – I think that would ruin everything.)

  8. ValInFL says:

    She’s a size 8 and considered to have a “fuller figure”???? What the hell is wrong with society today?

    • MrsBPitt says:

      I agree…I was a size 12 and in six months, after working out and eating healthy, I am now in a size 8….I thought I looked great…If I’m a “full-figured” gal in size 8, I must have been obese at size 12!

    • CaribbeanLaura says:

      I heard someone on another site say that size 8 is Hollywood+. And unfortunately I think that’s true.

    • doofus says:

      yeah, that got me too. while I agree there is a problem with obesity in the US, the average woman is size 12 and a size 8 is NOT a “fuller figure”. Well, fuller than a 00, but still…

      ETA: she has GORGEOUS hair.

    • kibbles says:

      I don’t think she is fat at all, but I thought she was bigger than a size 8. I really don’t believe it when curvy women in Hollywood say they are only a size 6 or 8 when they really look like a size 10 or 12 (I’m looking at you Kim Kardashian, Jessica Simpson, Mindy Kaling, etc. etc…).

      • Renee says:


        I agree with you. I am a size 8 and I don’t think that Mindy and I are the same size…granted, I have not met her in real life and the say that the camera adds ten pounds but still…even when I see myself in pictures and compare them to her I don’t think that we see the same size at all. The Fug Girls did say that they sat behind Kim K at Fashion Week and that she is tiny but with her chest and ass I don’t believe that she is a size 4…I think that she is at least a size 6 possibly an 8.

      • Faith says:

        I think shes a US 8 or UK 12 I think its because she is short isn’t she like 5″2 or 5″3? As a fellow shortie I have friends who have similar measurments to me but look thinner especially in the hips because there taller.

      • aasf says:

        But to be fair Jessica Simpson and Kim Kardashian have different bodies than Mindy. Jessica has been dieting pretty hard for weight watchers so I think so she is smaller now (to be honest I never thought she was never anywhere close to being fat). I think Jessica has a lovely figure. Kim Kardashian has a strange body. I really do feel like she got some type of butt implants because her ass doesn’t fit with the rest of her body. I love how tiny her arms are though. Mindy in my opinion is most representative of how many women’s bodies look outside Hollywood. Maybe the camera makes her seems fuller than she really is. I know when I see my photos sometimes I think wow I look heavier.

    • megs283 says:

      It”s crazy. She does look “fuller” on TV…but put her next to people in real life, and I’m sure she’d look pretty darn tiny in comparison!!

    • Brittney says:

      I was actually thinking about this while getting dressed this morning… putting on size 8 pants in front of a floor-length mirror, I thought, “if THIS is fat, then I don’t want to be ideal.” If I ever lose more than ten pounds, well-intentioned friends voice their concern because it just doesn’t look natural!

      I am SO GLAD Mindy doesn’t seem to be affected by body-snarking, fat-shaming or (on the other side of the spectrum) this constant focus on her as a “full-figured” exception to the Hollywood rule. She’s not heavy, she’s perfect for her body type, and it’s incredible that young Indian-American girls can see her on magazine covers and TV, and see themselves represented in such a positive, healthy way. If this was truly just the best image, so be it… I do think there’s something to the criticism, but at this point it’s a bit counterproductive to turn it into a huge media issue. Why can’t we just focus on Mindy’s work and be happy with a picture that SHE loves?

    • claire says:

      Size 8 is not full figure. But neither is Mindy a size 8. She looks at least a 12 to me. Don’t get me wrong, she looks great! But in celeb world the numbers get fudged a lot.

    • shump says:

      THIS is what I wanted to say. An 8?! That is a medium, no? I don’t understand the world at this point. She is beautiful and funny and if she is “fuller figured” these people are fucking blind.

    • Nikki says:

      My thoughts exactly. That’s beyond effed up.

  9. Florc says:

    You ladies called it!
    People made it racist. Meanwhile I truly admired her cover. Her face was the focal point. Not the clothes or make up. Just her gorgeous, structured face. At least, that’s how I saw it.
    Clothes tend to steal the show on mag covers. And if they wanted to they could have taken a full shot of Mindy and shopped it (but she might have called them out for that.)

    • Brittney says:

      Yes!! While I do think the stark difference means ELLE was either doing this intentionally or they need to hire a new PR team, I actually prefer the head shot myself. No matter what my body looked like, I’d prefer a close-up, angled shot that emphasized my cheek bones and made me look glamorous and sophisticated.

      Full-body shots can be tasteful, but you’re right… the clothes can steal (or ruin) the show, and honestly, I think it’s high time to start depicting female beauty without bringing breasts and waists and hips into the equation. We are more than just our bodies… if anything, I think Mindy’s cover is the most empowering of them all. There’s nothing to distract you from that gorgeous bone structure (and that manicure)!

    • Esmom says:

      “Clothes tend to steal the show on mag covers.”

      That’s definitely what happened with Zooey’s cover, which de-emphasizes her face. Her bangs also obscure her face a bit, too. Mindy’s really puts her beautiful face front and center and is so much better. They should have given all the women that treatment. Although I guess since Elle is about fashion the clothes wouldn’t have gotten enough play, maybe.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      I agree a close up shot is nice…but why put it in black and white when all of the others in this “set” were in color? I think if Mindy’s cover had been released on its own, there would have been no drama. But since they released the covers as a group, with only one of them being different in such obvious ways, I think it is natural for people to wonder why. I don’t think “people made it racist”. I think Elle made it vastly different from the others and people noticed.

  10. jessiebes says:

    Her face is absolutely stunning.

    Never heard of the TV show before but will look out for it now. Not sure if it is available in Europe yet.

  11. Samtha says:

    Her cover is actually the best one. Maybe it’s not racism–maybe they liked her more than the other women. ;)

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      That’s another way of looking at it huh? :D

    • Brittney says:

      Haha, I definitely prefer it too. It’s one of the best pictures I’ve ever seen of her!

      I think accusations of directly intentional racism can be refuted pretty easily and even honestly, but the standards themselves can still be called out… institutional sizeism, racism, and sexism often go unnoticed and it’s important to point out the unintentional ways that they seep into our language, our media, and our own perceptions. This shouldn’t be about calling a magazine editorial team racist; this should be about opening a discussion that highlights the subtle ways that women of color are regarded differently than men or white women. The more we talk about it (in a civil, non-accusatory way), the more likely we are to make some progress for future generations.

  12. Sisi says:

    Well, I have to admit that it’s difficult to see this as a themed collection of covers when there is so little similarity in the coverpictures. Mindy’s cover is the odd one out. So I cannot blame people for wondering if Elle considers Mindy the odd one out in the ensemble of coverladies.

    It’s a beautiful shot though, much more interesting than the average celeb cover. A fabulous standalone cover. I’d like to see more of these covers and covermodels.

    • lucy2 says:

      That’s what I’m thinking too – if it had been on its own, no one would question it, but when looking at the group of photos, it’s obvious there are differences.
      However, I think Mindy’s cover is the best one. She does look gorgeous and glamorous, and I love that they had her on at all.
      Her responses are perfect.

  13. m says:

    Oh please, its not as if you can’t tell that she is Indian. If they had messed with the coloring to make her look white that would be a story but all they did was make it black and white. And you know what? That’s why her cover is the best; you focus on her face, not her clothes.

    • neha says:

      Yeah, actually in a lot of the promotional posters for The Mindy Project, they lighten her skin. To me, that’s WAY more racist. They do it a lot in Bollywood films too, and it just projects this whole beauty ideal that “lighter is better”.

  14. MollyB says:

    Should I go back to Mindy Project? I watched the first 5 or 6 episodes of the first season and found it cringe-worthy, cliche and just a mess. But since then I’ve heard good things. I love Mindy Kaling normally.

  15. ldub says:

    mindy’s elle cover is the 2nd this year with a WOC on it (puerto rican model joan smalls on jan 2014 cover).
    yes i know that this is part of a group of covers but out of the group hers is the best which means i will be picking it up.
    either way small steps in the right direction, i guess.

  16. Ag says:

    She looks stunning on the cover. That’s all I’ve got.

  17. skeptical says:

    i think it’s a gorgeous cover. i think more shots should be black and white. Something about the greyscale seems to really make everyone look like they have perfect cheekbones. Even i look stunning in b&w!

  18. DesertReal says:

    Isn’t the Mindy show the one where the only black broad on it is always singing/dancing on it? Just sayin…its funny to me that she’s getting caught in the type of nonsense that she tends to perpetuate herself.

  19. Tig says:

    I cannot Mindy herself not calling Elle on the cover if she felt it was racist- she liked it, and why shouldn’t she? It is gorgeous. I prefer it to the other three, but then I’m partial to B&W photos.

  20. Anna Scott says:

    So black and white photos are racist ? Got it. Now, let me find my childhood photos, which are all back and white, and accuse my parents of racism.

  21. Renee says:

    I didn’t think that the cover was racist, I thought that it had this kind of retro glamour to it. However, I do think that it is a bit weird that they did her cover in black and white and no one else’s. Now, regarding the lack of attention, i.e. recognition in terms of award show nominations, etc., that The Mindy Project gets as compared to New Girl, and given that TMP is a much stronger show with better writing…I think that race might be coming into play there. But I also think that Mindy’s show could buck up a bit in terms of bringing in more characters of color, and less stereotypical ones at that.

  22. GiGi says:

    The cover shot is great – and hers being the only black & white cover – means nothing.

    Honestly, not everyone looks good in black and white – it should be seen as a compliment to her beauty, that she can be shot like that. I’d say her cover makes her stand out more in a positive way, really.

  23. Delilah says:

    Love the Mindy Project!!! Tuned in for Season 2 via Hulu which made me go for Season 1. Can’t wait for more episodes. Her everywomanish appeal is what makes her such a winning character. She’s not focused on stigma but on aspects where we’re all similar, inspite of boundaries. (In her show) She’s focused on struggles of dating, body image, workplace and family dynamics. It’s hilarious!!!

    I don’t know that this cover is racist. She looks stunning. I’m not well versed enough to comment on the stats of past covers to make any comparison on representation of Women of Color (WOC). But there is something to be said of the practice of compartmentalism of magazines where you find Black Americans represented on Essesence, Jet, Oprah, etc.; Latinas on Latina magazines (there’s Latina Glamour amongst them). I’m not certain of any representation of Asian Americans…Alas, issues on diversity typically center on Black and White. Pardon my ignorance for such a blanket statement, but it’s my perception. The highly circulated mags predominantly rep Caucasians, i.e., Elle, Glamour, In Style, Marie Claire, Redbook, Cosmo, etc…There are some strides being made but until the world fully becomes integrated we will not see “equal” representation of celebs of all backgrounds. First there needs to be a greater representation in Hollywood for there to be a wider selection of cover girls.

  24. lizzy says:

    I think mindy is lovely looking and stuff but lets be honest. The mindy project is being put on forced hiatus for a reason. Its a deeply flawed show. She cannot write for women characters as evidence by the female characters in the show. She is obsessed with having male attention on the show and is 34 years old buts acts twice as twee as zooey d.

    I hope rthat show gets cancelled so that chris messina and adam pally can get work worthy of their talent.

    Although ELLE was totally hiding her on the cover. Not cool.

  25. Kim1 says:

    I dont think it is racist.I do find it odd that for at the least the third time Elle decided to feature the fuller size actress completely different than the smaller actresses in these multiple cover issues.Gabby from Precious was featured in a similar fashion as Mindy,no body shot on the cover of a
    fashion magazine.Just saying
    BTW I dont like the cover because her complexion is too beautiful to be wasted on a Black and White pic

  26. Danigirl says:

    Mindy looks absolutely gorgeous, and if anything, I think the black and white shot makes her cover stand out from the rest in a good way. I can’t guess what the intention of the folks at ELLE were when making her cover so different, but she looks fantastic, and this cover is my favourite of all of them! Go Mindy!

  27. Nev says:

    Love her!!!!!!!! Sooooooooo funny her responses. Go Mindy!!!

  28. Liz says:

    I think it’s unusual that they chose her of all four of the actresses to feature in black and white and that possibly race was a factor in this decision. I’ve been a longtime Elle reader (like, for 15 years) and don’t remember them EVER having done a black & white photo, so that’s also odd. Maybe they felt she had skin problems that couldn’t be fixed with photoshop? I don’t know.

    Either way, you’d think they’d have known better after the Melissa McCarthy debacle, unless they did this purposely to drum up controversy, which would just be gross. But then again, these magazines are still using sexual predator Terry Richardson to shoot their fashion spreads, so apparently good judgement is too much to ask from them.

  29. mimi says:

    I love Mindy’s cover. I think she’s a very beautiful woman which this cover clearly shows. I’ve always liked black and white photography so I don’t have a problem with it being used here.

  30. littlestar says:

    I think the cover is absolutely stunning. Mindy Kaling looks so beautiful on it, it’s the kind of cover I could stare at for hours. I actually like that it isn’t showing her body – the cover is showcasing HER beauty, and nothing else, no crazy makeup, no designer clothes etc.

    • Brittney says:

      Yes. More covers like this one, please.

      And this will probably keep editors on their toes, for better or for worse, the next time there’s a multiple-cover issue with people of different races or genders. (Remember the Vogue cover about “Hollywood power players” or something, where all the men were fully dressed and all the women were naked? THAT is the kind of blatant objectification and discrimination that deserves to be put on blast.)

  31. ashley says:

    Mindy doesn’t have a problem with it,so i don’t care.It’s a beautiful cover,with an equally beautiful woman. I love her responses hilarious!!! I love the mindy project,check it out!!

  32. Amanda_M87 says:

    I think people read way too much into these sort of things. It’s just a magazine cover after all. If you’re really looking for racism, you can find it almost anywhere.

  33. Dani says:

    I actually love her cover the most. Better than ‘look glum and nerdy school girl’ Zooey who has THE SAME POSE in every single photo shoot.

  34. Mar says:

    I actually liked it when I saw it and didn’t think anything negative about it until someone ” told me to”

  35. Penelope says:

    Meh. Elle is loving this.

    Mindy’s Twitter responses were great.

  36. NotAnotherJenn says:

    I thought Mindy’s cover was the best out of all of them. It was the most striking because it was different and she looked beautiful.

  37. Asiyah says:

    I think her cover is the best looking one. Still, I can’t help but wonder why they went black and white for her and not for the others. Not speculating here, just seriously wondering. I personally think that, aesthetically speaking, the picture looks better in black and white and I’m not racist (WOC here). I wonder if that’s what they thought too.

    • Cecilia says:

      Maybe it was Mindy herself that requested the shot to be in black & white? I think her cover is the best one, as many of you are saying. Why can’t we leave it at that?? Why does there always have to be something racist or PC incorrect about everything. Sooner or later no one is going to want to participate in this divisive nightmare. All we will be left with is the Sound of Silence.

      • Asiyah says:

        I’m not saying it was racist. I actually agree with you. I don’t think Mindy herself requested it in black and white because she would have tweeted that, but I didn’t exactly find this racist. Again, I cannot speak for Elle, so just like I can’t say it is racist, I can’t say it isn’t. I’m not sure why they chose a black and white cover for her.

  38. Megan says:

    I see the point about the cover, I will say Mindy’s cover is the very best cover. She looks stunning, you get to see her face more then anyone. And frankly the black and white is way more fashionable and high end then the others.

    Mindy is beyond gorgeous! She should get a close up on her face. I agree that Mindy and Chris are being ignored and its completely wrong that show is beyond perfection. She should be cleaning up with awards. I will never understand the Zooey thing- she isn’t that talented, she has no depth or range. All she does is play herself.

  39. TheOriginalWaffle says:

    I like her response. It’s appropriate for a comedienne to respond in a funny way, and it shows she’s not fame-wh*ring (she chooses not to stoke fires).

    I do think the cover treatment is a bit fishy, and I would love to see her in a cute short dress, but she looks gorgeous anyway.

  40. GiGi says:

    It appears to me that they wanted an old-school Hollywood glamour feel to her cover. Her hair is styled kind of like Veronica Lake. I think she is gorgeous in both color and in black and white!

  41. G. says:

    I think Mindy is beautiful and wonderful, so I’m wondering why they took such a bad shot of her in the first place? In comparison to the other covers, it just doesn’t look as nice, and putting it in grayscale just highlights that, in my opinion. I think, yeah, they should have made all the covers black and white or in color, they should have taken a shot of the same caliber for her as for the other actresses, and they shouldn’t have cropped her. Even if they didn’t intend for it to be problematic, it is, and backpedalling doesn’t erase that.

  42. Sarah says:

    I love her and her show is my favorite show on tv today. It’s hilarious and Chris Messina is so good as Danny. Go Mindy!

  43. Lipsy says:

    Oh my god, I loved last night’s episode!!!!! You’re so right, Chris Messina steals every scene, and I find Mindy and Danny’s scenes HILARIOUS. Am I masochistic that I want Danny to be my personal trainer?!

  44. PinkParasols says:

    SMH at some of the deliberately obtuse comments here. I remember the cover Elle did for their 25th anniversary, where all of the thin white celebs were given cute, flirty, full-bodied covers while Gabby got some hideous wig, light foundation and a poorly done head shot. This is what they always do when they have to work with “difference”. I love photography and when Im too scared to mess up a shot, I go for a black & white shot. Is Elle “racist”? Probably not more than any other publication, but if one needs ANY more proof that they need beauty editors who can work with diverse beauty, you have it here. Color does NOT distract from one’s skin or face, in fact the contrast can enhance it.

    I’m not surprised Mindy is being passive and cutesy about this, the industry is nasty and she’s been in it for a long time. I’m sure she wants to keep her seat at the table so why make a fuss? But even a 5 year old who’s taught to point out which one is “not like the others” will see how wack her cover is. Yes, her cover is wack.

  45. S says:

    Out of the 4 covers, I think by far Mindy has the best one. It didn’t even occur to me that it was a race or size issue. Amy and Allison both look rode hard and put up wet, and Zooey just looks wonky.

    Honestly, I’d much rather see close ups like this cover on more magazines. It gives less room for over enthusiastic Photoshopping, where arms end up looking like toothpicks, hips and thighs are carved and shaved into nothing and heads look like they are displaced onto the wrong bodies.

  46. marina says:

    It’s racist because they didn’t show her whole body? What the what? I thought someone was going to say they lightened her skin or something. She looks lovely. Leave it at that. She’s adorable and hilarious. Although she lost points when I found out she was friends with Lena Dunham. Ugh. Why, Mindy, Why?

  47. aasf says:

    Yeah I think she is more of a size 10 or 12 than 8. I remember reading somewhere that she said her weight is like 150 and she 5’3.5 so do the math. (She could be fudging her weight a tab bit but that number seems accurate). I really her MIndy in some regards but the fact that she gave the black person on the show such a stereotypical character really bothers me. She can’t write well for other women. The only positive role I remember was her best friend which has completely disappeared.

    • marina says:

      I weigh 160-162 and I am a size 8 but I’m very muscular and have DD cups. I’m only 5’4″. At 135-140 I was a size 4; not everyone who is a size 4 weight 100 lbs. I always thought people lied about their weight because I weighed so much more than other women, but I guess I’m the exception, not the rule, so I believe she can be a size 8.

      • Jennifer says:

        Yes Marina! Thank you. I am built exactly like you’re describing. Same height,clothing sizes at the same weights as you are and have been. People also look heavier in photos sometimes as well as onscreen. I believe she is a size 8 and is she shorter than us?

        Here’s my take .Elle purposely causes/creates controversy to seek magazines.

  48. Aly says:

    I’m a WOC and I find this neither racist or belittling in any way. Why do people complain about everything? Black and white photos are my favorite kind and they did a fantastic job with mindy. She looks gorgeous! Plus she was obviously more than ok with the outcome (probably even had input on it) so what now?

    You know, it’s so hard for WOC, or even POC to get covers like this these days. Part if me is scared if we keep complaining and criticizing over every small thing they’re just gonna think “screw it” and not bother asking them to be on covers.

    The cover is fine. Mindy loves it. People are making up problems in their head.

  49. Caroline says:

    I love Mindy, really truly do … but how can she really be a size 8? Is she like just 5′ tall or something? Seriously?

  50. joan says:

    OMG – she admitted to being a Size 8?

    Got to hide that. Wow.

  51. Ginger says:

    She looks gorgeous in color or black and white. And a size 8 is small IMO. I’m glad I don’t have to work in an industry that is so skewed in its perception of “thin”. And I love her responses on Twitter. She is both smart and funny!

  52. wheezy says:

    Oh! She looks gorgeous!!! I think I’d love to hang with her. I need to watch her show more.

  53. Leila in wunderland says:

    When I clicked on this article, I just took a good look at this cover trying to see what was racist about it, and I couldn’t find anything. Then I read the article. I don’t think it’s racist, and I think she looks great. This is a case where, in order to determine if the decision to make her cover black and white was racist, we would have to know the person’s intent. Did they do it because they thought it would look nice, (which it does), or did they do it because of her skin color? I don’t think it was her skin color, but I could be wrong.

  54. Nancy says:

    Her cover was simply the best out of all the others she looked absolutely stunning.

  55. Maureen says:

    It’s a beautiful cover. Once again the race-hustlers who can never, ever be happy (and don’t want others to be either) are throwing out the word “racist” and only helping to render it completely meaningless.

  56. Skye says:

    So over these NOTroversies! Mindy looks beautiful and sophisticated, and IMO, black-and-white is hard to go wrong with, from a purely aesthetic point of view. The people screaming about how Elle is racist/size-ist are basically insulting Mindy themselves by indicating that her beautiful cover image somehow represents getting the shaft. I mean, seriously… TALK ABOUT PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE: “That sucks they didn’t think you were thin enough for their cover, I’m SO pissed at them on your behalf.” Toxic friends, anyone?

    What would have satisfied them…. Mindy in a thong staged as a big Bollywood number? Not everything is about a person’s ethnicity OR clothing size, and not everything needs to be. Save the indignation for some ACTUAL racism/cruelty, please.

  57. LaurieH says:

    Inre Melissa McCarthy, she responded to the “sizeist” accusations by saying that it was the cover SHE wanted. In Mindy’s case, perhaps she wanted to be shot in grayscale. Personally, I love grayscale photography (love Ansel Adams). I think grayscale is FAR more flattering (artistically) than color. Think of the iconic photos of Princess Diana and Hillary Clinton.

    All of these people trolling around looking for some reason to screech “racism!” at something really REALLY need to get a life. Mindy looks gorgeous.

    Ps: I ran into her in Anthropologie in NYC a couple of years ago. She’s pretty in person (and in color) too!!

  58. Kev says:

    She really does look beautiful on that cover.

  59. Missykittens says:

    Is it racist if a white women does a black and white shoot?

    This is ridiculous. People call every little thing racist, even when there is no racism detected.

    Btw, Mindy looks gorgeous!

  60. Esme says:

    Don’t you have to pretty to be on covers? I mean, I like Mindy and all, and she’s not hideous, but she certainly isn’t COVER material. Neither is McCarthy for that matter.