Melissa McCarthy’s Elle Cover Controversy: Magazine Releases Statement

Melissa McCarthy on the cover of the November 2013 issue of ELLE
Melissa McCarthy on the cover of the November 2013 issue of ELLE Thomas Whiteside

The heat is on! Not everyone loves Melissa McCarthy's Elle cover for its November Women in Hollywood issue. In fact, a significant number of fans are irate over the fashion glossy's decision to photograph her swathed in an overcoat, her face partially concealed by her hair — especially in comparison to the magazine's other cover girls that month, all of whom are much more exposed in their photos.

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Reese Witherspoon in Elle's November issue. Thomas Whiteside

In an essay for Slate about McCarthy's cover-up, culture editor June Thomas wrote of the full-figured actress' Elle shoot, "[She] was photographed in a Marina Rinaldi coat so huge that she could hide her Mike and Molly co-star Billy Gardel underneath. 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."

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Shailene Woodley in Elle's November issue. Thomas Whiteside

Elle has since released a statement defending their styling of McCarthy. "On all of our shoots, our stylists work with the stars to choose pieces they feel good in, and this is no different: Melissa loved this look, and is gorgeous on our cover," the magazine said. "We are thrilled to honor her as one of our Women in Hollywood this year."

While the Heat star certainly looks glamorous and stylish in the cashmere outerwear, she is definitely and suspiciously far more concealed than her fellow honorees are on their covers. Reese Witherspoon wears a sexy cutout Versace dress on hers; Shailene Woodley is clad in a black one-piece swimsuit; and while Penelope Cruz, who was pregnant at the time of the shoot, doesn't show her body at all on her cover, her face is left relatively bare and natural-looking.

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Penelope Cruz in Elle's November issue. Nico

This isn't the first time that a photo of McCarthy has generated controversy. Critics cried Photoshop foul over movie posters for The Heat, which featured a seemingly slimmer McCarthy next to Sandra Bullock.

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