Elle Magazine on Gabourey Sidibe's Cover: "What Controversy?"

Fashion rag's editor-in-chief says people have invented a scandal

By Marianne Garvey Sep 17, 2010 12:14 AMTags
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If The Devil Wears Prada taught us anything, it's that you don't mess with an editrix.

Elle's editor-in-chief Robbie Myers isn't holding back about the so-called controversy surrounding her magazine and the rumors it purposely lightened Gabourey Sidibe's skin for its new cover, telling E! News that her skin was "absolutely not" changed and that she is "sad" over the accusations.

Sidibe is one of four stars featured on different covers for the magazine's 25th anniversary issue, along with Megan FoxAmanda Seyfried and Lauren Conrad, who are all featured in full-length shots. Plus-size Sidibe's cover photo was cropped mid-chest .

But Myers calls the shot "incredible," saying she "loves" Gabourey and that's simply the way it works for studio shots.

"It's not a controversy," she told E! News today at the Oscar de la Renta runway show in New York. "What's so sad about it is that people have not looked at anything else but this. There's an incredible portfolio inside that Joe [Zee] and Carter [Smith] shot . They havent looked at it. People want to make something out of nothing. It's sad the legitimate news media picks up on this."

She adds that Gabourey was an incredible subject, saying "we love her."

"It sort of boils down to this," Myers explained. "At a photo shoot, in a studio, that is a fashion shoot, that's glamorous, the lighting is different. The photography is different than a red carpet shot from a paparazzi."

She emphasized, "We absolutely did not lighten her skin. Retouching is when we take a piece of hair and move it out of her eye, so you can't compare a picture on a press line from what you do in a studio, where your job is to make them look beautiful. This is their controversy. We've seen these things before. I am sad that no one has cracked the magazine and looked at it. We gave her a cover, and she loved it."

Zee, creative director of the glossy and star of MTV's The City, says he's "ecstatic" about the cover.

"What I loved about Gabby was that she walked in and was so jovial and ebullient and so happy and charming and she engaged the entire crew and everybody," he told us. "She was 180 degrees not the character of Precious.  

"What we loved was her behind the camera laughing and telling jokes and laughing and chuckling and I thought, That's the girl people should know. She's not Precious at all, and that's what people should know. That's what we captured in the picture and for any flak to come out of that is ludicrous, because at the end of the day it's about her personality."


Read about the Elle controversy here!