Plus-size polemic: Is Melissa McCarthy’s Elle cover shameful?

Posted at 6:16 AM, Oct 18, 2013
and last updated 2013-10-18 08:19:29-04

(CNN) — Melissa McCarthy is one of the hottest actresses in Hollywood right now, so it’s no wonder that Elle magazine named her one of their top 2013 “Women in Hollywood,” and even put the plus-size comedian on the cover.


However, some critics are crying foul at the cover shot, decrying it as fat-shaming.

In an article for, writer June Thomas laments, “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.”

McCarthy is seen wearing a large green coat that covers nearly her entire body, with unruly hair that also covers a portion of her face.

In contrast, other actresses who had their own covers, such as Reese Witherspoon, showed off their bodies in figure-hugging outfits.

People on Twitter expressed their outrage and disappointment: “#Elle Put Melissa McCarthy In A Big Coat To Hide Her Body – The coat is gorge, but the difference in shots is sad,” tweeted Curvy Exchange, a community that buys and sells plus-sized fashion.

Elle responded to the controversy by releasing a statement about the November issue: “On all of our shoots, our stylists work with the stars to choose pieces they feel good in, and this is no different,” a spokesperson for the magazine said. “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.”

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