Mindy Kaling Elle Cover Stirs Controversy: Why Is She Cropped? Black and White?

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Mindy Kaling is featured this month on the cover of her first-ever national fashion magazine.

Cause for celebration, right? Yes, but also for controversy.

Kaling is one of four actress featured for the publication's Women in TV issue, along with Zooey Deschanel (New Girl), Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation) and Allison Williams (Girls)...

... but she's the only one of those four to be photographed up close and also in black and white.

Mindy Kaling Elle Cover

This could be no big deal. Like the Melissa McCarthy Elle cover that generated chatter, it's possible Kalig was in on the picture selection and some are making a big fuss over nothing.

But Julia Sonenshein of The Gloss doesn't see it that way.

"For all we know, Kaling directed the whole shoot. Does it matter? The message is still the same: we treat a certain type of woman differently than the other celebrities in her cohort," Sonenshein writes. "Kaling is different based on an arbitrary set of rules, so we'll treat her as such."

Elle, meanwhile, is standing by its depiction of Kaling.

"Mindy looks sexy, beautiful and chic," the magazine says in a statement. "We think it is a striking and sophisticated cover and are thrilled to celebrate her in our Women in TV Issue."

No word yet from Kaling, but here's a look at the other three women/covers. What do you think? Is this a worthy scandal or much complaining over nothing?

Amy Poehler Elle Cover
Allison Williams Elle Cover
Zooey Deschanel Elle Cover

UPDATE: Mindy has now Tweeted a response: "I love my @ELLEmagazine cover. It made me feel glamorous & cool. And if anyone wants to see more of my body, go on thirteen dates with me.”

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