The Twittersphere erupted in outrage on Sunday when Vogue posted what seemed to be their upcoming cover of US Vice President-elect, Kamala Harris.
Two cover shots were posted, the first showing Harris donning casual Converse Chuck Taylor boots, juxtaposed with a tailored black jacket and posed against draped pink satin.
The backlash was immediate with critics questioning everything from the "washed out" lighting to the "terrible ... background and awkward pose".
Critics were also quick to point the finger at Vogue editor Anna Wintour, with many claiming that her direction was to blame for the poor image.
"Good grief, this was the laziest cover Wintour has ever done considering Harris is the first woman VP. Anna Wintour needs to go," claimed one Twitter user.
Cries of whitewashing and racism were also common with comments like: "Don't print that badly lighted cover on the left. Learn how to light and take photos of Black ppl."
A second cover photo, posted alongside the first was met with a slightly warmer response, with fans incredulous that the initial shot was even being considered.
"Please use the one on the right," one Twitter user wrote. "We love Kamala and that is definitely the better photo by far."
The preferred image shows Kamala Harris in a powder blue Michael Kors pantsuit, posing with her arms folded across her and boasting her signature smile.
The controversial photos were shot by Tyler Mitchell, the man behind the much-lauded Vogue covers of Beyonce in 2018 and Harry Styles' gender-fluid cover in 2020.
One Twitter user came to Mitchell's defence, clarifying that "I'm reading that the photographer is Tyler Mitchell ... He's the first black photographer to have a cover on Vogue and their youngest. He's 26 now but 23 when Beyonce hand picked him."
According to the New York Post, Harris and her team had autonomy over her choice of wardrobe. The Post also reached out to Vogue for comment in regards to claims that they had lightened Harris' skin in the controversial cover images, they denied any lightening took place.
At this stage, Vogue has not confirmed which of the circulating images will grace their cover in February.
Speculation also abounds on Twitter that the publicly disliked image of Harris against a pink background was not an image chosen for use by Harris or her team, with one Twitter user exclaiming: "Why did y'all blindside Kamala like that? She wanted the cover to be the photo of her in the powder blue suit. You know the picture of her in the converse isn't working. Why would you do that to our first female VP?"