ELLE Magazine – Women in TV Issue

Posted on January 07, 2014

Come walk with us through another set of theme magazine covers, darlings. They’re all the rage.

Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling, Zooey Deschanel & Allison Williams, photographed by Carter Smith for Elle magazine.


On the conflict between being a comedian and being a grown-up: “Now that I have kids, I’m up at 5:30AM no matter what. Sleep at this point is just a concept, something I’m looking forward to investigating in the future. But I’d like to say that I maintain that same sense of play and creativity and spontaneity–of being able to get into a room with people and say, ‘Let’s waste some time.’ When you’re a creative person, even when you’re in a position of power, you still have to be able to straddle both worlds.”

On how the “The Mindy Project” getting green-lit served as a desperately needed distraction from her mother’s death: “Any person that’s been in the business knows they’re so lucky to have their show picked up–it happens to such a small fraction of shows. But I was lucky personally, because I needed a distraction so badly from my grief. Still my thoughts flutter toward her in scenes that I’m doing, every night before I go to bed, and every morning when I wake up.”




On the idea that girliness connotes weakness and how it comes up less and less: “There has been a shift. I really have stood up for myself on multiple platforms. It’s sort of the grown-up version of middle-school nastiness, and I’m just like, come on. If there’s one thing I’d like to graduate from, it’s girl-on-girl hate. I don’t believe in it.”




On why she tends to wear high-end, American designers on the red carpet: “I wanted to establish a baseline: Here’s what I look like, I have long brown hair, I wear this kind of dress, this is the deal. You can count on it! Look at Jennifer Aniston: she’s America’s sweetheart for a reason. You know what she’s going to look like when she shows up to something, and there’s something so comfortable in that.”


Oh god, that quote from Allison explains so much. “I wanted to establish a baseline?” Yuck. “Jennifer Aniston is my style idol?” Oh honey, no.

Anyway, the first thing that popped out when we saw these was how the only non-white subject got a completely different cover from the other ones. But here’s two simultaneous thoughts that came up as soon as we realized that:

1. That’s a gorgeous picture of Mindy, and

2. If anyone should be pissed off here, it’s Amy.

Seriously, we love the gal and we’re all for her finding her sexy, but the spread leg, shaded cleavage and JBF hair strike us as distinctly off-model. As for Mindy, we definitely find it odd that her cover is so drastically different from the other ones and think it should be questioned and/or called out any time the mass media singles out the non-normative (whether that’s ethnic, racial, size, sexual orientation or gender identity) for different treatment, but like we said, she looks amazing.

Allison also looks shockingly good, but that’s because we’re so desperate to see her break free a little. Zooey looks like Zooey. That’s a really cute dress she’s wearing.




[Photo Credit: Carter Smith for ELLE Magazine]

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  • misstressofsylar

    I love Amy. I know her cover looks cliche but I’m just happy to see her looking fab! I’m really looking forward to her and Tina hosting the Globes this Sunday. In a perfect world, they would also host the Oscars and keep it from being the boring show it is every year.

    • Rachel Simpson

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      ☸☸ ☸☸☸ ☸☸☸☸ ☸๵☸☸ ☸☸☸☸ ☸☸☸☸The look on her face, the obviously open legs, it’s like someone dressed up her Baby Momma character and told her she was getting a cover shoot

  • leahpapa

    Amy P is serving up Peg-the-chanteuse-dog-from-“Lady and the Tramp” realness. Anybody? Anybody? *slinks back under rock*

    • Constant Reader

      Now I can’t un-see it! Or stop singing “He’s a tramp, but I love him.”

    • mjude

      I went back for a look….LOL… yes :)

    • Julie Chase

      Oh my GOD. This is my favorite comment today.

    • Anna Vasquez

      Come out from behind the Stone of Shame. Stand over here, behind the Stone of Triumph. Because your comment is fab.

    • StellaZafella

      Oh great, thanks…now I’ve got Peggy Lee stuck in my head (she wrote the song and voiced the dog)…
      No, I mean it, thanks ’cause I missed how much I love Peggy Lee!

    • ConnieBV

      I think this was the whole point. The look on her face, the obviously open legs, it’s like someone dressed up her Baby Momma character and told her she was getting a cover shoot and she is intentionally being sleazy and hilarious. I love it, and she looks amazing.

      • bitchybitchybitchy

        I get the feeling that Amy Poehler is in on the joke, so to speak. I like the tousled hair, the tux-you go, Ms. Poehler!
        MIndy looks great, Zoey looks like a more polished Zoey, Alison looks fantastic.

    • Pennymac

      The ‘shopped cleavage is disturbing, but the one-eyed Peg reference is spot on!

    • E2_Remote

      Never apologize for a classic Disney or Looney Tunes reference. On that note, I love your mad Madam Mim avatar!

    • Danielle


    • NYCGlamourpuss

      OMG, I totally see it now!

    • Uncle Spike

      Because of this, I had to run to YouTube and check out Peg. Not two minutes later, my day is gloriously complete. And this, in a day already filled with awesome ’40s numbers. YES.

  • Sobaika

    It’s a beautiful picture of Mindy, absolutely. But it’s no accident that the only non-white actress who happens to be the largest clothing size of the four is given the B&W closeup treatment.

    • Sobaika

      Assorted other things I’ve been thinking: Deschanel and Williams are both actresses on a television show. Williams isn’t even the lead. Poehler (slightly older than the average Elle cover subject) and Kaling (a minority in skin tone and size) both create/write/produce/host/run shit. Reinforces the idea that if you don’t fit into a standard, you have to work ten times harder to get at the same level. Could be just extrapolating, but it stands out to me.

      Must stop analyzing pop culture and get back to work.

      • Lilyana_F

        Spot-on, absolutely.

        • Rosary Jones

          I, however, think I’ll put up this entry next week, when I get back into my classroom, and see what my students say. TLO will become community college education fodder in Arkansas.

      • ConnieBV

        This. I don’t get the A. Will. love. She is beautiful, but frankly very bland and really not a remarkable actress. She’s okay. This is the most interesting she has looked, ever, and the interest vanishes once I read her quote. Kaling has a slamming bod, just a curvy one, and she could have certainly rocked a full-body look. I can’t with Zooey’s hair. All I see is June Carter Cash, damn it.

      • http://armchairauthor.wordpress.com/ LesYeuxHiboux

        Kaling and Poehler both had to create their own vehicles, otherwise you know there’s no way either would be lead. Zooey’s was created for her, and I have no clue who Allison Williams is.

        • Agent Sculder

          Alison Williams is Brian Williams’ (the NBC News anchor’s daughter). She is also an actress.

          • Introspective

            having family connections always makes your career get a little further a little faster than the average. which may be a background factor to sobaika’s spot on point above about the differences between zooey and alison’s careers being celebrated in this feature vs. mindy and amy’s.

          • http://armchairauthor.wordpress.com/ LesYeuxHiboux

            Well, I assumed she acted in something on television given the theme of these covers :)

      • misstressofsylar

        Imagine Lena Dunham as Alison Williams. Not only will she be featured here but in Vogue too.

        • Sobaika

          You’re telling me Princess McTeatime is getting a Vogue cover?

          • crt

            i think she’s saying that if lena dunham looked like princess mcteatime she would defintely have covered vogue by now. or maybe that’s just how i’m reading it because it coincides with my opinion.

          • http://armchairauthor.wordpress.com/ LesYeuxHiboux

            The irony being that if Lena Dunham looked like Princess McTeatime, she would never have become Lena Dunham.

      • MilaXX

        Nope, I completely agree and from what I’ve been reading on the interwebs you aren’t the first person to get that. Seriously it bugs so much it makes my head hurt.

      • Spreecord

        Meanwhile, back in Elle’s HQ:

        “Poehler’s kinda middle aged, right? Put her in a pantsuit, hide her face behind her hair and just get it over with. Crop the brown fatty close to the face. Don’t change anything about Deschanel, people fap to that shit. And make sure the other skinny white girl looks like her dress is about to fall off.”

        • makeityourself

          Later, while editing the shots:
          “Cut about two inches off of Poehler’s thigh, will you? We want her leg to look thin, but believable. There’s no way we’re running it like THAT!”

      • SugarSnap108

        I think you’re right on.

      • demidaemon

        I agree with you wholeheartedly.

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/divine_aphasia/ Constant Cat

        Yes, why not have Lena Dunham in Williams place? She’s at least on the same writer/performer/comedic level, if not experience as Poehler and Kaling!

        • MK03

          Honestly, she probably wouldn’t do it.

      • Claudia

        Uncomfortably accurate…

      • decormaven

        Your powers of observation are keen. You speak The Truth.

    • barbarienne

      Wait, so the printed edition for Mindy Kaling is also b/w? I thought maybe they just didn’t have a color version lined up for digital promotional release. Which is bad, but okay, production doesn’t always run smoothly.

      That’s effed up.

    • butterflysunita

      I completely agree about Mindy’s cover when compared to the other three actresses.
      As an aside, I love Mindy’s quote–it’s beautiful and genuine.

  • another_laura

    Really, Elle, the one woman of color gets a black/white cover? I’m kind of gobsmacked that they did this.

  • sugarkane105

    I LOVE how Allison Williams looks here. I wish she would break out of that “baseline” as well. And Amy Poehler deserves better.

  • @Biting Panda

    I’ve been wondering, and more than a little irritated at, the decision to make Mindy’s cover B&W. It feels very icky and racist. Of course, they aren’t going to use a fully body shot of her, I know better than to have hope there, but I am taken aback at their choice to try to negate her skin color. So, “they’re assholes”, is basically where I land on my feelings of Elle.

    • Sobaika

      It stands out so much more because the other shots (especially Deschanel and Williams) are very similar. If they took different approaches with all four I wouldn’t be bothered nearly as much.

    • http://www.GiftedCollector.com/ The Gifted Collector

      I’m just so surprised that they are so obvious about it. You’d think by now that kind of attitude would be more subtle.

    • SugarSnap108

      Exactly. Ignore her body and dilute her skin color. That’s quite a tribute, Elle.

  • Sara

    I didn’t notice that Mindy’s cover was different. I did notice that it was Allison and not Lena on the cover, which struck me as odd since Lena is much more suited to a Women in TV issue than Allison, as she writes, directs, produces, stars in, and acts as showrunner on Girls.

    • @Biting Panda

      Well, this is Elle, they can’t have TWO women of non model size on their covers. The horror!!

      • Bexxx

        And these two women are what…size 12-14? The horror!

        • AthenaJ

          Actually, I read Mindy is a size 8. Which blows my mind even more that people consider her ‘plus’ size.

          • ecallaw1977

            Love her, think her size is beautiful, but also think there is no WAY she’s a size 8. Unless she’s like, 5’0 tall, which I don;t think she is.

    • Sonny

      Yeah, the amount of media attention Allison Williams is getting at the moment is generally frustrating. I mean, good for her, but I don’t think anyone watches Girls because they like Marnie. The less conventionally attractive cast members are all arguably more talented.

  • hughman

    Dear Mindy – WE’RE SARI! – Elle magazine

    • http://angrynerdgirl.net/ Jessi03

      I may have just choked.

    • Sobaika


    • looklook

      Indian, it doesn’t even matter.

    • marlie

      Good thing there’s no one else in the office, because I just laughed out loud.

    • StellaZafella

      She’s, apparently got a great attitude about it though: Elsewhere quotes her as tweeting ” I love my ELLE cover, if you want to see more of my body, take me on 13 dates.” I say that outclasses any swipe at her size or ethnicity.

      • Scimommy

        Mindy is classy, funny, and smart, but it doesn’t make what Elle did any less clueless.

      • decormaven

        I’m tempted to start watching her show just on principle. This world makes my head hurt; she’s a class act for rising above it all.

    • ConnieBV

      That should have been the byline. Why pander?

    • YourBaloneyDontGotNoSecondName

      You are sarong for saying that.

    • PeaceBang

      Just projectile laughed a Pepperidge Farm goldfish across my desk.

  • msdamselfly

    I imagine the closeup of MIndy is due to body size

  • Angela_the_Librarian

    Looks like Leslie Knope got a little tipsy before a photo shoot. Seriously, I think Amy must be joking with us because that photo looks like a comedic take on a “serious” photo shoot. It’s a shame what they did with Mindy’s cover. It’s a nice picture, but they could have done so much more styling her in vibrant colors (well, maybe they did put her in vibrant colors…but we’d never know!)

  • Vanessa Reyes

    I just read that she tweeted that she actually loved her ELLE cover and that she felt glamorous and cool.

    • stagmania

      She did say that, and made a joke about why people want to see more of her body. She did not address the black & white issue.

      • Vanessa Reyes

        I wonder if she ever will.

        • Sobaika

          Having followed her career very closely, I wouldn’t bet on it. She certainly doesn’t hide from who she is but it’s not a constant mention either. Not that I blame her – it must get very tiring to be ‘othered’ in even the most benign situations and have your background and looks mentioned with such regularity.

          She should be very happy – she does look glamourous and beautiful. Doesn’t change that here were likely some gross reasons behind the Elle team choosing this cover.

    • @Biting Panda

      I can appreciate that she didn’t mind the non body shot. I do wonder how she feels about the other aspect.

    • Bexxx

      She definitely looks glamorous and cool and I think it’s a beautiful shot on it’s own. But then you zoom out and there’s these full body, full color covers of skinny white women and..yeah.

      • marlie

        You’re right. If this were just Mindy’s cover, and she wasn’t sharing this issue with the others, the photo wouldn’t BE an issue.

    • http://foodycat.blogspot.co.uk/ foodycatAlicia

      I don’t know. I guess at some point a woman might decide that she doesn’t want to be the one kicking up a fuss, because if she does she’ll be seen as an uppity brown woman and will be seen as representative of all women of colour and in future when someone wants to put a woman of colour on the cover they’ll say “Oh no, remember how arsey that one girl got about it? They are too much hard work”. I’d probably tweet something supportive and die inside a bit rather than rock the boat.

      • Sobaika

        Exactly this. She’s just happy to be invited to the party.

        • ampg

          Right – she didn’t get where she is by being dumb about this sort of thing.

      • marlie

        It’s sad and unfortunate, but a lot of brown women – and women in general – in all careers have the same attitude.

        • http://foodycat.blogspot.co.uk/ foodycatAlicia

          Absolutely. And understandably.

    • MilaXX

      And that’s the conundrum. Like the Melissa McCarthy cover, it’s not bad. In fact I think she looks gorgeous. It’s just that it’s so blatantly different than the other covers that it sets one’s teeth on edge.

    • Spreecord

      Well really, what the hell is she going to say? “I hated my racist, fatty-loathing cover shot and I think everyone at Elle ought to be dunked in a vat of boiling oil?” There’s only so much goodwill that is allocated for women of size and colour.

      • formerlyAnon

        Not that others didn’t say the same, but I kinda like the way you put it. Last sentence especially.

  • mjude

    I have seen the comments about mindy’s cove. itr has started.

  • wisenhar

    Zooey, you should thank Florence Welch for letting you wear her dress. It looks pretty good on you. She’s going to be a little pissed that you shortened the hem, though.

  • SayWhaaatNow

    Zooey is channeling a Florence Welch vibe. Love the dress!

    • Sunraya

      I thought it was Florence Welch!! I had to look a few times. Weird!!

      • Adrianna Grężak

        Me too!

      • http://foodycat.blogspot.co.uk/ foodycatAlicia

        I didn’t recognise Zooey without the tights on. Fantastic disguise.

  • Julie Chase

    Mindy has such a cute figure too, I’m more angry that they wasted an opportunity to show her in something fabulous. But it’s a great picture.

  • NMMagpie

    Personal best for Allison Williams. Amy Poehler looks like she is about to get on top of the piano and belt out a tune.

  • jilly_d

    Amy looks drunk. I hate them for using that shot. And for putting Mindy’s amazing delicious skin into b/w. That’s the best, and edgiest, Allison has ever looked.

    • marlie

      I’m really irritated that chose a photo where one of her eyes is obscured. It bugs.

  • thecitysleeps

    I’m shocked that the cover has a different colouring for Mindy. I’m not gonna say it, but I’m thinking it. She’s beautiful in the picture though. Love Allison, especially her hair, a bit different for her.

  • marlie

    Amy: if her hair had been a little tamed, I’d like this a lot more. Though we really don’t need to look right at her crotch.
    Mindy: Best she’s ever looked. Ever, anywhere. This photo is really gorgeous, so much so that I don’t care about the differences between her picture and the other ladies’.
    Zooey: S’fine.
    Allison: Caught in a wind tunnel, while trying to pull on a dress (an ugly one, at that) that’s too small for her. And an even bigger YAWN for her style explanation.

    • marlie

      TO clarify: It’s not that I don’t care that her picture is the only one that’s different. That was the first thing that leapt out at me when I saw these photos on the interwebs last night. It doesn’t at all surprise me that out of the 4 ladystars featured, she’s the only one in a face-only, B&W shot.

      But you know, they singled her out, and it’s working to her advantage here. Hers is the best photo by a longshot. Sure, others will go on and further discuss/debate the whys and all that, but she comes out on top this time, so good for her.

      • Maggie Smith

        I feel the same way. Mindy’s is the only one that I went back to look at several times. The others…standard Elle. Lovely photographs. Mindy’s is just Beautiful! I always thought she was a lovely person, but I gasped at this photo of her.

      • http://foodycat.blogspot.co.uk/ foodycatAlicia

        It is a stunning picture, and getting a major magazine cover is such a huge deal. It’s just disappointing they couldn’t have given it, oh, 10 seconds more thought.

      • SugarSnap108

        Oh, you’re right. Mindy looks gorgeous, and it’s by far the best shot of the four. It’s a real shame Elle put it in such a “one of these things is not like the others” context.

  • DTLAFamilies


  • Sunraya

    Zoey’s picture is terrible – almost out of focus. I like Amy’s picture – she is not your traditional TV girl, she is smart, funny and feisty, and I felt all of that in her picture. I didn’t see drunk. The picture of Mindy is gorgeous. She looks great.

  • Kimbolina

    Allison Williams kind of looks like a less bitter Kristen Stewart. Underwhelming.

    Mindy looks the best but I just can’t with how blatant Elle was in having an entirely different cover, stylistically, for her.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/TheOctocornNetwork International Model

    I am over the moon that all these women are comedic and no one is holding a rubber chicken. The streak has been broken!

  • Sam Smith

    Allison’s quote made me giggle.

  • Trickytrisha

    Mindy’s cover is already the focus of a lot of media attention regarding the “she’s a woman of color and treated differently and it’s racist” thing. I wonder how she and other black and brown women feel about it. Her’s is a lovely photo, but it’s a questionable move on Elle’s part, for sure.

    The rest are okay. Love love love Zoey’s dress – that’s how to do sheer with style and grace.

    • murt

      I’m South Asian……… frankly I wonder about the extreme scrutiny that covers featuring women of colour get – often there are accusations of skin lightening flying around, and in this case, many people are finding flaws in an absolutely gorgeous cover. Certainly white, thinner women have been photographed in a similar way for the cover of Elle.

      Mindy has also tweeted that she loves the cover, and I also wonder about whether there is some denial of the agency of the women being photographed when these women are persons of colour.

      Is the magazine racist here, or are there racist undertones to some of the criticism of the magazine in terms of the way women of colour are being scrutinized? (And I don’t know the answer to that question.)

      That said, I really like the way Tom and Lorenzo handled the situation in their blog post – very impressed.

      • filmcricket

        I see what you’re saying about denial of agency, but I think (and maybe I’m being naive here) that that kind of thing has more to do with star-power than skin colour. As in, Rihanna would probably get some editorial input, but Kaling probably wouldn’t.

        • murt

          Yes but I wonder if systemically, there has been a tendency, in the backlash against many of these types of covers, to characterize prominent women of colour as victims, period. I really don’t know – I just find something disturbing in this specific reaction against Kaling’s cover, partly because I’ve seen many people completely dismiss her tweet defending it.

          I noticed something similar with a recent Gabourey Sidibe cover as well.

  • http://aspotofwhimsy.com/ diane {a spot of whimsy}

    Elle is supposedly a woman’s magazine, so it doesn’t totally explain the over-sexed look on Amy, but I saw at least 2 guys share this picture of her today on Facebook and make a comment about how good she looks. Sooo yea, straight men, amirite?

    Oh, Allison, this really does explain so much. I’m kind of surprised she was so honest.

  • kimmeister

    Mindy’s shot is arresting. Love it.

    I would have never known that was Allison in a million years, if it hadn’t been labeled.

  • Sarah

    Sometimes, when it’s cold out, I will go in the bathroom where I work and put my still-damp hair under the XTREME hand dryer we have. Then I leave the bathroom looking like Amy Poehler.

    • demidaemon

      And you will look AWESOME!

    • kimmeister

      That was my blowdryer when I stayed at a hostel in Australia. I had totally forgotten about that.

    • formerlyAnon

      As have commented below, I like that look.

      • Sarah

        I’m not mad at it either, or I wouldn’t be sticking my head under the dryer. Bigger is better, if’n you ask me.

  • YourBaloneyDontGotNoSecondName

    Elle missed a huge opportunity with Mindy. Her skin color + some rich, vibrantly colored clothes, plus her shiny, jet black hair? They could have really knocked it out of the park with her.

  • MilaXX

    Taken on it’s own the picture of Mindy is actually really pretty. It’s when it’s part of a 4 cover spread and hers is so obviously 1. The gal over a size 6 full face close up, and 2. The only person of color who also happens to be the only cover rendered in black & white that things begin to go sideways. Do these big magazines not have PR staff to tell them that’s not a good idea?

    As for Allison and her “baseline” remark? Really girl? You look at the one person who’s been in a style rut for the past 10 years and that’s who you set your mark on? You need an intervention stat.

    • Sobaika

      Re: Allison Williams and her baseline

      Isn’t that the opposite of what an actor is supposed to do? They’re supposed to be chameleons, change with roles and parts and take on characters.

      Girl, That Should Not Be Your Method.

      • http://foodycat.blogspot.co.uk/ foodycatAlicia

        I thought it was quite interesting, because that approach is something I’ve read other bellydancers talk about in discussions of professionalism, how you should have on your website pictures that indicate exactly what they will be getting if they hire you. And it’s totally appropriate for a dancer or entertainer for a party. Not so much an actor. Maybe she’s aiming for professional socialite instead?

      • marlie

        Then again, that’s also the character she plays, and thus far the only role she’s had. Maybe that’s the extent of her range.

    • Chartreusite

      Agreed, although the photo of Mindy is STUNNING, it’s clear the magazine didn’t know what to do with a woman of her figure in a full-frame portrait and the racial implications are a little squicky. It’s weird because it’s the best photo of the bunch, but yet the intentions for it are so bad that it’s to hard to really accept it.

      Allison’s photo is so gorgeous…I really wish she’d be a little more edgy with her dressing. Like Jenn she’s got the blank slate potential to truly wear some stunning outfits, including that miu miu coat featured on that cover a couple days ago.

  • Lesley

    Allison Williams needs to hire that stylist – girl looks hottttt !

    • TAGinMO

      Girl looks like Amanda Peet.

      • ShaoLinKitten

        I thought she looked like Amy Adams on the gross Q cover TLo posted earlier.

      • Shawn EH

        I thought it was Emma Roberts at first.

      • filmcricket

        She always has.

  • nicole seligman

    zooey looks like florence. that’s all i can see. i love amy with all my heart and soul, but lady needs a new stylist, and even more, a new hair stylist.

  • snarkalicious

    Actually, Zooey looks like Florence Welch. With brown hair and a shorter hemline.

    • ShaoLinKitten

      I was just about to post this!

  • Chaiaiai

    I…….am….no. *gathers thoughts* Okay, really Allison? You’re talking about your BRAND? Really? Wither the substance?

    Ugh. I could go on a LONG, rambling diatribe about my concern that women a skooosh younger than myself are too worried about how they are perceived versus being being keen observers themselves but I will stop because I will sound like a fuddy duddy. And yes that is a run-on sentence and I am leaving to go find gin because, at 34, I’m a bitter old gin-drinker.

  • KT

    I absolutely love how Amy Poehler looks: drunk and sassy. I think you guys are taking her cover too literally — I’m pretty sure that this is intended to be tongue-in-cheek, what with the widely spread legs, visible bra, JBF hair, and “YEAH I’M HOT” expression. She seems to be roasting all of the trying-too-hard actresses that usually grace these covers, which is exactly something she would do, and exactly why I love her.

    And speaking of trying-too-hard, OHHHHHH Allison Williams. I have a feeling you are all too similar to your character on Girls…. sigh.

    • marlie

      I think she IS her character on Girls – I think they all are. That’s why I wonder what kind of careers they’ll have in the post-GIrls era.

      • KT

        Yep, except maybe David Mamet’s daughter. But absolutely the other three.

    • bellafigura1

      Absolutely, both counts. Allison Williams looks like she’s trying to look like a picture she maybe saw once, a long time ago, of someone who someone else said looked sexy. She doesn’t know what she’s doing.

    • Valdri8

      I am in total agreement – AP’s cover is a total spoof

  • Blair Sylvester

    These are so far above the W covers

    • decormaven

      Yes. Heck, illustrations out of Little Golden Books are better than those W shots.

  • ampg

    I’m not a fan of Zooey’s black bra under the dress. And I love Amy’s picture – it exudes a terrific “fuck you” confidence that keeps it from being the standard actress-over-40-but-still-sexy cliche.

  • VioletFem

    While the Mindy Kaling cover is quite beautiful. However, it is hard to ignore the fact that in a series of covers for one issue, Elle chose to give the only woman of size and color gets the cropped black and white treatment. It’s not like she is star-shaped, it is not difficult at all to dress MIndy in something really cute. If they were really starve for ideas they could have watched any episode of the “Mindy Kaling” project where she always wears really stylish outfits.

  • http://tvblogster.blogspot.com Boop

    Alison Williams’ PR people are awesome. Also, I adore Zoey Deschannel’s dress.

  • demidaemon

    I’m actually kind of impressed with Alison’s cover. It’s the first time she looks her age. The quote is kind of ass-backwards. I love Amy’s quote and I kind of like he rpicture, because I think she was intentionally going over the top and being a bit comedic. Mindy looks beautiful; Zooey is Zooey.

  • cocohall

    I’d like to think that they tried B&W photos of all four women, but Mindy’s was the only one that was actually eye-catching (because it IS fabulous) and the other three ladies just looked better in color. I’d LIKE to think that, but sigh, I don’t. Especially given the close-up vs. full body discrepancy. Also, the type face/cover design is different for each issue and the order of the names of the women not featured is different on every cover. Which suggests all sorts of negotiations about how to sort out the relative fame/importance of the ladies. It pains me to even think about it. And if we are second guessing their cover choices, why not Rebel Wilson? Or Mayim Bialik? Or Jane Lynch? Or Wanda Sykes? Any one of those ladies would be more likely to motivate me to grab the mag and head to the check out than Zooey or Allison.

  • Sly

    I’ve read so many comments, explanations, and other things on this subject, and I am seriously beginning to think this is what outcome ELLE intended. You can call me naive, clueless, whatever, but I don’t think ELLE was being racist, or that ELLE didn’t want to feature her body. For all we know all these ladies could have taken a close-up, a black and white shot, and a full body shot, but the only one that worked out was Mindy’s. It’s a striking cover, really beautiful. Yes it’s the most different, but like I said the editors probably chose it for one reason, because it is beautiful. Anyway, Allison Williams looks gorgeous, she, in my opinion is a very talented actress and my heat breaks for her character on Girls. Yes she loves to exude this icy, albeit bland persona, but you know what if that’s what she feels comfortable in then that’s her. Would I like her to dress more youthful? sure! But if she does not feel comfortable in it, then what’s the point. She’s having fun in her own way.
    Sorry for my rant of sorts.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/divine_aphasia/ Constant Cat

    Mindy’s quote made me ache for her. The b/w cover is bizarro, but she looks beautiful.

    • Chartreusite

      Agreed so much on Mindy. I don’t know if it’s my romanticizing the comic talent of the world, but I always find it so interesting to see how comedians/annes process and develop pain, and how it’s also so startling to hear about it as an audience member who rarely sees beyond their tv persona.

  • Katesymae

    Everyone aside from Mindy here either looks pissed or psychotic. Our line up: Amy: The booze-soaked chanteuse smugly concocting a backhanded toast to an ex-lover who just popped into her weekly lounge act. Zooey: The ’60s country darling sharpening her claws at the bitch who stole her man. And Allison: That girl you just dumped who happens to keep “running into you” (outside your apartment), looking twitchier, less rested, and more desperate each time. Can’t you just see it?

  • quiltrx

    I’m really irked by the whole “one of these things is not like the other” element of these covers. Mindy looks gorgeous, but I’m sure she’d have been just as gorgeous full-length and in color.
    I think Zooey wins here. And she should send that dress off to Flo Welch, who is the only one who might wear it better than Ms. Z.
    (and Allison is looking very un-Allison, which is good.)

  • AdamBR

    It’s not an accident that Mindy Kaling got a different treatment compared to the other three, Elle did it so that people would talk about the obvious exclusion. Thing is, they pulled the same gimmick last year when they had Gabourey Sidibe on the cover, and she’s placed on the cover close-up. Honestly, I’m just ignoring their attempt at eliciting a reaction.

    On the other hand, Amy Poehler. Arf.

  • Bailey Lovell

    I’ve never seen a more gorgeous picture of Mindy. I just keep going back and staring at it. It’s so mesmerizing. It’s the only one I do that with. Entertainment Weekly had an article earlier today about how Mindy was given the Melissa McCarthy/Gabby Sidibe treatment. Mindy posted on her Twitter that she’s absolutely in love with the picture, as am I. A lot of people are quick to vilify these magazines when women of shape aren’t shown in full body, and I just wonder if they ask the women how they want to be shot? I don’t know how the editorial world works, but if you have a celebrity coming in for a cover, I would imagine their opinions would at least be somewhat considered. Maybe Mindy wanted a beauty shot. I don’t know. It’s just a thought. Again, though. It’s absolutely perfect. Love her!

    • Qitkat

      I wrote my post without seeing yours, but I’m glad to know that she loves the cover; I agree with you that it’s lovely and mesmerizing.

  • Qitkat

    In my opinion, Mindy is the lucky one here. She got one of the best photographs of her life, she got the most artistic cover in black and white, everyone is talking about it and her (the old saying about any publicity being good publicity), and the cover itself is the most memorable shot of any of the four women. Controversy is probably good for the sale of the magazine, and as they are defending the choice, they think they are a winner here. Perhaps Mindy herself will speak out, and all questions will be answered.

  • sunflower

    I’m pretty sure that only the Zooey cover will be on newsstands (it looks slightly different than the others and like a typical Elle cover.) The others are for subscriber and digital versions I suspect. It’s unfortunate because I think that Mindy’s cover really draws you in. Also, I’m thrilled to see both Mindy and Amy get solo covers!

  • annachronizm

    taking color out of the only colored girl?

  • ScarlettHarlot

    Zooey’s dress would look great on Florence. That thing Allison Williams is wearing is fug, but at least now I don’t feel bad for feeling bored by her looks, since she’s doing it on purpose.

  • carnush

    They all look amazing. Allison should go in this direction more often.

    • SayWhaaatNow

      I see other comments dismissing her dress, but I personally love it. Though that might be because it’s so different from her “baseline”, haha.

  • ashtangajunkie

    To quote Allison Williams’ style idol, Mindy Kaling is “so pretty I want to cry.”

  • MarieLD

    No idea if Mindy planned it this way, but last night’s episode was all about her weight and body image. Danny told her at the end, just be a woman. You look fine the way you are.

  • LostDancer

    I thought Zooey looks like Florence Welch

  • judybrowni

    i’m totally buying that issue, and I never buy magazines anymore.

  • gigi kennedy

    love love love LOVE Mindy Kaling.

  • Lilithcat

    As for Mindy, we definitely find it odd that her cover is so drastically different from the other ones . . .

    Odd, yes. But definitely the best of the bunch.

  • formerlyAnon

    I think they were all served well by the cover shots – waaaay better than the last batch. I am biased about Amy Poehler’s, though – it does seem a bit off-brand, but I love her (heavily augmented I’m guessing) hair so much like that that rational judgement flees.

    I blame early-in-life exposure to Dyan Cannon and other Professional Blondes.

  • ThesisMonkey

    Oh, Allison. Jen is America’s sweetheart because of her personality and charisma (see: JLaw), not because her clothes are predictable. You’ve got a long way to go.

  • Jeannie Shmina Greenwald

    All right, I think Amy looks great in her cover shot. It may be cliche, but not for her. Her hair looks amazing, and I think she looks great all tousled and sexy but approachable because we all know her personality is so much fun. Yes? Mindy: well, I love this portrait of her too. It didn’t strike me as different or racist; I just like it. Zooey is Zooey, nothing new here. New girl, cute girl. Allison looks fabulous in her photo! Yes – go edgier, girl. She understands her innate look and works with it and I like that. But seeing this picture may give her the courage to go to the edges and play there sometimes, too.

  • Orange Girl

    Should be Lena Dunham instead of Allison Williams.

  • http://www.readbarbara.com/ ReadBarbara

    Oh, Amy, did you really sign on to do a cover that looks like you’re playing a drunk Mrs. Robinson-type or did you do something to make the people at Elle really want to take revenge on you?

  • kt

    I’m going to come from a different angle, 1. because I am so sick of everything boiling down to race etc when it doesn’t need to, and 2. I have long worked in the beauty industry and sometimes a pen is just a pen. None of these women have a face like Mindy. She’s outstandingly beautiful, and emotes really really well. The other 3 are also quite beautiful women, but to create an interesting cover, they need the drama of clothing, half covered faces, the editorial process. Kaling delivers on face, and doing a full body shot would detract from the impact with her. I sincerely doubt that they are trying to diminish her, but I am 100% confident that the close up was her best photo.

  • http://cheekypinky.wordpress.com cheekypinky

    Hairstylist needs to hand in his or her tools. I haven’t seen comb overs that bad on 90 year old men.

  • nycfan

    I kinda assumed Amy Poehler was laughing her ass off about the whole thing, so took it as humorous, but if the cover is serious, then, yeah, WTF. Great dress on Zoey. And Mindy looks gorgeous. I could flip it around and say that only the woman of cover got serious consideration in the presentation of her cover, the other three are lazy defaults to skinny white woman generic cover. And I actually hate the one for Allison Williams, horrible hair, silly posing, just totally off in every way to me. Hair on Amy and Allison is just awful.