Mindy Kaling's Black-and-White Elle Cover Sparks Colorful Chatter

The "Mindy Project" star -- whose close-up starkly differs from those of Amy Poehler, Zooey Deschanel and Allison Williams -- is the subject of Q by Equinox's latest Healthy Project installment.
Elle Magazine

Although Mindy Kaling comically complained about working out throughout Tuesday night's episode of The Mindy Project, the Fox star actually has been experimenting with wellness challenges from Equinox over the past few weeks. She debuted her conclusions online on Tuesday morning in Q, Equinox's digital magazine about fitness, nutrition and sleep, as part of its Healthy Project series.

Interestingly enough, her findings surfaced in light of all the colorful chatter surrounding her body image, as shown (or not, actually) on her latest magazine cover.

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The controversy began earlier this week, when Elle revealed its four “Women in TV” covers for its February issue, featuring Kaling, Parks and Recreation's Amy Poehler, Girls' Allison Williams and New Girl's Zooey Deschanel. The latter three were depicted in three-quarter-length color portrait shots, while Kaling was boxed into a close-up printed in black and white. The design decision sparked negative comments online about the magazine's attitude toward Kaling's skin color and relatively curvy figure.

Leave it to the lighthearted, Twitter-centric Kaling to address the controversy with a punch:

She even humorously pegged the buzz to the winter premiere of The Mindy Project , which serendipitously revolved around the workout routine and body image of her character, Mindy Lahiri.

It's not the first time Elle has come under under fire for the questionable presentation of their cover stars: In 2010, a similar treatment was given to Precious star Gabourey Sidibe, whose October cover zoomed in on an (arguably lightened) portrait shot, while fellow stars Amanda Seyfried, Megan Fox and Lauren Conrad enjoyed the usual wide-shot frame. And last year, readers said Melissa McCarthy was shelled inside an oversize coat for the title's Women in Hollywood issue.

Again, the magazine defends its creative choices. "Mindy looks sexy, beautiful and chic," said Elle in a statement to E! News. "We think it is a striking and sophisticated cover and are thrilled to celebrate her in our Women in TV Issue."

What do you think of Kaling's Elle cover? Sound off in the comments below.

Email: ashley.lee@thr.com
Twitter: @cashleelee

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