Mindy Kaling says she loves her ELLE cover photo, while the magazine is defending its decision to make her picture different than that of other TV actresses who grace the front of its February 2014 issue.
Four individual covers were released this week and feature what the magazine calls the "smartest, funniest small-screen stars." One shows Kaling in black and white and is cropped below her chest. The other covers are almost full-length, color pictures of Allison Williams of "Girls," Amy Poehler of "Parks and Recreation" and Zooey Deschanel of "New Girl." This has spurred some criticism online.
"I love my @ELLEmagazine cover," Kaling said on Twitter on Tuesday, Jan. 7. It made me feel glamorous & cool. And if anyone wants to see more of my body, go on thirteen dates with me."
Kaling has spoken candidly about body image. Her 2011 memoir, "Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)," contains a chapter titled: "When You're Not Skinny This Is What People Want You To Wear."
"When we released our February Women in Television covers yesterday, we heard from many of our readers how thrilled they were that four of their favorite actresses were being featured in ELLE," the magazine said in a statement on its website. "Some fans, however, were disappointed that Mindy Kaling's cover was differently staged."
In the past, ELLE was also criticized for its cover photos of Melissa McCarthy, who wore a coat for its November 2013 issue -- and later dubbed the backlash "Jacket Gate," and fellow plus-size "Precious" actress Gabourey Sidibe, whose 2010 picture was a closeup.
"The magazine's official response was simple: 'Mindy looks sexy, beautiful and chic. We think it is a striking and sophisticated cover and are thrilled to celebrate her in our Women in TV Issue,' the statement added. "And now Kaling herself weighed in. We hope that settles it. Drinks for Kaling (and Melissa McCarthy) on us."