Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Media Moment #2, Melissa McCarthy Elle Magazine Cover

This latest Elle magazine cover recently sparked controversy. Leaving aside the obvious airbrushing, the powers that be decided that it would be best to keep Melissa McCarthy, a plus-sized actress, entirely covered up, hiding her body under an unflattering, oversized coat. A month earlier, on the cover of the September 2013 issue, Kate Upton appeared in a body hugging red dress.  

Supposedly, the powers that be must have decided for McCarthy that she had something to hide.


  1. Ryan, you bring up a great point here that reminds me of the exercise we did in class with Esquire magazine. I think the text specifically "Hello Sexy" on the Kate Upton issue is also very important. Also Kate Upton's shot is more bold and upfront where Melissa McCarthy's shot seems less dramatic and at a distance.

  2. Just a sidenote, Melissa McCarthy chose the jacket herself. She released a statement a week or so after the controversy began. However, one point I would like to make is just how much they photoshopped McCarthy's features and body. Melissa McCarthy is a curvy woman, and in the photo she is made to look as if she is a size 12. If you look at other pictures of her (where she is not Photoshopped), she is a full figured woman with a round face. My point is, why make such drastic changes to her body in order to put her on the cover of the magazine? She is beautiful just the way she is.

  3. Agreed Lemonia, she is beautiful as is, but unfortunately they go pretty crazy with photoshop on most images, no matter the size of the woman. This is an industry flaw, people shouldn't be heavily photoshoped to look like what they aren't since it creates unattainable ideas of what beauty is. While clearly McCarthy is heavily photoshoped, so is Kate Upton, although not in the same ways or places. As mentioned, it is interesting to consider what words were chosen to stand out. On the Upton cover the word "sexy" is massive whereas on McCarthy's there is not such a push to promote the sexual nature of the issue. While I wouldn't take either of the issues too seriously (content wise) I would say based upon the cover alone, McCarthy's seems more professional or serious for articles or images. Is being taken more serious possibly an upside to your career not being focused on selling sex?