This month Elle magazine did something supposedly controversial and put a plus-size celebrity on their cover. The magazine’s “Women In Hollywood” issue featured Melissa McCarthy and her curves on the front. However, like with all major body image issues, it is always one step forward and two, three, four steps back. As media outlets everywhere have chosen to criticize the magazine presentation of McCarthy (in a full overcoat) rather than praise the innovation of the magazine.
This article featured here on foxnews. Pretty much summarizes our thoughts, while many people feel that McCarthy wasn’t done justice by the editors who insisted on featuring her “so covered” rather than in a state that celebrated her figure. Raising an interesting argument really, because it is clear that there is something about the way that McCarthy is presented in comparison to other celebrities who are photographed in this issue OR on previous covers produced by the magazine. Essentially, the reason why it is worthy of remark is because McCarthy is not being done justice?
This Isn’t Surprising In Fact It Is Fairly Predictable
Although the visibility of plus-size celebrities like Melissa McCarthy, Queen Latifah, and Adele have done great things for the self-esteem of plus size women by being in the public eye. There is still a long way to go before the social-conscious changes and these issues are dealt with differently. Although Elle, made a stride in deciding to feature McCarthy on the cover they also missed a major mark in the way that they decided to depict her. That said, “The girl looks great!” and some may argue that by presenting her in this way they are pro-actively not commenting on her size, which instead of making it a matter of controversy has really just made it “a picture of a woman in a coat”.
Consider this, had McCarthy been featured in lingerie or a tightly fitting ensemble, that also would of raised remarks from the media that were equally detracting from Melissa’s talents. Our society doesn’t “make room” for this kind of commentary, hence why I feel that there was really no ”good way” for Elle magazine’s editors to approach it.
Or maybe it never occurred to people that this is the way that McCarthy chose to be depicted? Maybe this is what made her most comfortable?
Often when we comment on the way that celebrities appear in the media, we choose to ignore the fact completely that they are people too. There really isn’t anything else to be said, because the image isn’t particularly controversial when you think about it. It’s a woman in a coat, unless maybe she is naked underneath, and maybe this was the only AFW image choice from a “nude flash photo-shoot” probably fart-fetched but we don’t know? There is something to be said about leaving some hings to the imagination and besides we all know how the media loves to manifest controversy out of thin-air.
Congrats on your front-page Melissa!