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Your Week in Pop Culture: 'Elle' magazine wades into body image controversy again

The February issues of 'Elle' magazine featuring actress Mindy Kaling stirred the internet controversy pot this week. (Source: Nehrams2020/Wikimedia Commons) The February issues of 'Elle' magazine featuring actress Mindy Kaling stirred the internet controversy pot this week. (Source: Nehrams2020/Wikimedia Commons)

(RNN) – Another day, another Elle magazine cover controversy.

This week, the fashion magazine published different covers featuring four funny actresses in its February issue - Amy Poehler, Zooey Deschanel, Allison Williams and Mindy Kaling. There was only one major difference between all of them: Kaling's was the only one featured in black and white and photographed from the chest upward.

The photo of the Indian American Kaling is lovely and stunning. The problem lies with photos of the three other cover women, all white and featured in full body shots shot in color. This recent, um, development comes a few months after Elle photographed actress Melissa McCarthy in an oversized coat (which McCarthy says she picked out) and a few years after the Gabby Sidibe cover.

Kaling tweeted Tuesday "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."

Is it surprising, with the number of women who don't subscribe to the slimming standards and high fashion of Hollywood, that Elle has yet to understand how not to avoid this type of attention. Many women have made their way to Elle's website and voiced their opinion, claiming that the magazine should have shown all of the women in the same light.

Who is Elle trying to sell their publication to: image-conscious fashionistas or women so terrified of being alienated about their size they turn to magazines to see what they should look like? Until the magazine comes to terms that the average American woman doesn't look like the starlets and runway models of haute contour, Elle will continue to be in the spotlight, alienating its more than 5 million member readership.

TV: 'SNL' finally got it together, hired Sasheer Zamata to join the cast

We will never have to see Kenan Thompson in drag again ... hopefully.

After holding super-secret auditions last month to right a terrible wrong, distancing itself from further controversy by finding a black female cast member, Saturday Night Live found its woman.

The long-running NBC variety show hired internet viral video comedian and talented improv actress Sasheer Zamata. Zamata is the first black woman to join the cast since Maya Rudolph left in 2007 and will make her debut on the Jan. 18 episode with host and musical guest Drake.

A graduate of the University of Virginia and veteran of the Upright Citizens Brigade improv group in New York, Zamata is most known for a hilarious YouTube channel and her new video series with fellow comedienne Nicole Byer in the web series The Pursuit of Sexiness.

But SNL didn't just hire Zamata. Executive producer Lorne Michaels also hired two black female writers to give Zamata material that didn't just have her playing bad stereotypes. According to The Hollywood Reporter, veteran comedy actress and cast member finalist Leslie Jones and LaKendra Tookes were added to the SNL writing team.

MUSIC: Less Than Jake shows love to their fans and friends in latest video

Jam of the Week: Less Than Jake, My Money is on the Longshot – I like when bands give their friends and supporters love in a video.

In this single by the punk band Less Than Jake, cameos from the band's friends lip-syncing fill three minutes of a pretty swinging tune.

Movies: Disney's ‘Frozen' continues to dominate

I don't know if it's because most of the nation is literally frozen thanks to the arctic vortex, but Disney's Frozen continues to dominate at the box office. The opening weekend of the latest Paranormal Activity movie knocked the first Hobbit installment down to No. 3.

Here's last weekend's Top 5, according to Box Office Mojo (listed next to previous week's ranking and weekend gross):

  1. Frozen (2) $19,575,525
  2. Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (NR) $18,343,611
  3. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (1) $15,675,220
  4. The Wolf of Wall Street (5) $13,230,353
  5. American Hustle (4) $12,404,207

In theaters: Jan. 10

The Legends of Hercules – The origin of the demi-god Hercules is explained in the latest film based on Greek and Roman mythology. It features Kellan Lutz (Twilight) half naked and sweaty while fighting in wars. It also stars Scott Adkins, Roxanne McKee, Like Newberry, Gaia Weiss and Liam Garrigan.

Also in theaters: In Bloom, The Rocket

Tumblr of the week: Love tattooed guys and cute animals? This blog is for you

If there is one thing ladies on the internet love, it's GIFs and memes of cute guys and sweet, fluffy animals.

Nothing makes a woman swoon more than a golden retriever in the arms of Channing Tatum or Ryan Gosling. They are all over the internet.

But this week in the Tumblr spotlight, this popular internet genre takes an edgy turn with tattooed guys and cute, fluffy animals. Beware, ladies, your significant others may get jealous.

Sports: Ray Allen contemplating ‘He Got Game' sequel?

Please remove yourself from the pitiful sidelines of the New York Knicks and make this happen, Spike Lee.

According to the Associated Press, director Spike Lee and NBA star Ray Allen have been discussing the possibility of a sequel to the 1998 film He Got Game. Allen starred as Jesus Shuttlesworth, the highly-recruited high school basketball player whose convict father (Denzel Washington) had to convince him to go to the warden's alma mater.

Allen, who is still called his character's name by his current teammates, will wear the moniker on his jersey as the Miami Heat play the Brooklyn Nets on Friday.

A little something from YouTube: This kid sings ‘Wrecking Ball' better than you do in a car

Do you ever sing aloud with your radio in the car and think to yourself "Wow, I am capturing the emotion of this song perfectly!"

Well, odds are you aren't, but you could never tell a kid that.

In this YouTube instant classic, one toddler is totally channeling the emotion of Miley Cyrus' Wrecking Ball. More impressive, he's doing it from a car seat and not naked, swinging from construction equipment.

A little something from YouTube, part 2

Ever wonder if the bad guys from your favorite movies would last through all of the physical violence and injuries they sustain?

According to Screen Junkies, the criminals in the first two Home Alone movies would have not only been paralyzed several times over, but would have died a combined 26 times.

The Screen Junkies YouTube channel is dedicated to honest movie trailers and the realities of our favorite movies.

Honorable Mention

4 things I learned from the worst online dating profile ever Cracked

‘Tutting' resurrected as new viral dance craze of 2014 – Raycom News Network

Tim Tebow and Johnny Manziel make the most awkward couple UPROXX

Motivational speaker, author Lizzie Velasquez is motivated by haters who dubbed her ‘world's ugliest woman'Gawker

WH Press Secretary Jay Carney starts 2014 with hipster nerd beard Buzzfeed

Insane Clown Posse files suit against FBI over Juggalo name on gangs list - Gawker

WWE set to launch own 24/7 network in February – Associated Press

(Dis)honorable mention

A.J. McCarron's mom on Jameis Winston: 'Am I listening to English?'Deadspin

4chan users troll internet hard with fake #BikiniBridges trend going viralBuzzfeed

Here's a reminder that hockey players basically wear knives on their feetSB Nation

Bob Costas calls newest Olympics events 'Jackass stuff' Deadspin

Follow me on Twitter @TanitaG_RNN.

Copyright 2014 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

  • WECT News Poll

  • Do you think there should be a controversy with the latest 'Elle' magazine covers?

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    Yes: all women need to be seen in the same glorious color.
    10 votes
    No: their artistic direction is their choice.
    19 votes
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