Melissa McCarthy Elle Cover Draws Ire, Magazine Defends Conservative Pose

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Melissa McCarthy is at the center of another weighty debate.

The actress was slammed as a "tractor-sized hippo" by an obnoxious movie critic during his review of Identity Theft earlier this year; and controversy later swirled around posters for The Heat that appeared to Photoshop away her curvy figure.

Now, McCarthy is one of several famous women featured in Elle's "Woman in Hollywood" issue, but many critics are wondering why she's posing on the cover in a coat that covers her body.

Is the magazine trying to hide her voluptuous figure?

Melissa McCarthy Elle Cover

Not at all, according to an Elle spokesperson.

McCarthy had a major say in this fashion selection.

"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 rep says in a statement. "We are thrilled to honor her as one of our Women in Hollywood this year."

Penélope Cruz also landed a cover for the special issue and is shot close up because she recently gave birth to her second child.

Reese Witherspoon, meanwhile, showed off her body in a tight-fitting dress on her cover, while Shailene Woodley wears a bathing suit. Check out their Elle looks here:

Reese Witherspoon Elle Cover
Shailene Woodley Elle Cover
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She looks beautiful. Love the cover!!!

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I think she looks lovely. If she wasn't happy with the coat she would have said something,

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YA KNOW , THAT FAT GOOFBALL , MS-NBC , MORNIG DOPE , JOE SCARBURROW SAYS , INANELY ENOUGH , THAT CONGRESS IS LIKE HOLLYWOOD FOR UGLY PEOPLE !!! WHAT A FUCKIN RETARDED ROAD CREW LOOKIN --GARBAGE COLLECTOR LOOKING SHITBERG !! HOLLYWOOD HAS MORE UGLY FREAKS THAN AUSSCHWITZ !!!! HOMO'S , SCHLOMOS , TRANS-THIS AND AIDS-THAT MALFORMED EX-STREET PEOPLE GALORE !!!!
>>>> SO, JOE IS WRONG ON THE FIRST COUNT - HOLLYWOOD IS FOR UGLY PEOPLE !!!! AS TO HOLLYWOOD , WHAT THAT !!! REALLY IS ... IS >>>> ORGANIZED CRIME FOR THE UN-INDICTED AND IMMUNE FROM PROSECUTION !!!! NICE TRY , MORNING JO JO THE CLOWN !!!! HEY M JOE ? WHY THE LONG FACE ON MICA ??? SHE UPSET OR SOMETHING --- OR IS IT YOUR ODOR ... UGHH - DOOR NUMBER 2 !!!

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I think she's very pretty as well as funny! And if she wanted to wear the cost, then she can! She looks good either way.

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@ Tigerlily

Oops, I meant to say coat.