Elle Accused of 'Whitening' Gabourey Sidibe on Cover

Bloggers disagree on treatment of Precious star
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 16, 2010 9:31 PM CDT
Elle Accused of 'Whitening' Gabourey Sidibe on Cover
Actress Gabourey Sidibe participates in a panel discussion at the CBS, Showtime and The CW Television Critics Association summer press tour in Beverly Hills, Calif., Thursday, July 29, 2010.   (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)

Precious star Gabourey Sidibe is on the new cover of Elle, and her image has set off a tiff in the blogosphere on whether the magazine used digital retouching to "whiten" her. Here's Julianne Hing at ColorLines: "Elle clearly couldn’t handle Sidibe’s real skin color, and traded away her actual color for something dramatically lighter." (See PopEater for comparison photos.) The magazine is also taking criticism for posing her differently than other models (more of a face closeup than a body shot) in an apparent attempt to play down her weight.

Elle says this is all crazy: "We have four separate covers this month, and Gabby's cover was not retouched any more or less than the others. ... If you take a look at the portfolio, each of the women were shot in different ways and for different reasons." At Entertainment Weekly, Annie Barrett thinks the criticism is overblown. Elle's explanation on retouching is sound. On the other point, "they constructed the Sidibe cover in a specific way so that she would look her best, and she looks beautiful. Is it really so jarring to see someone heavy on a magazine cover that people need to freak out over how it 'should look' instead? This is how it looks." For other retouching scandals, click here.
(More Gabourey Sidibe stories.)

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