Melissa McCarthy Elle cover 'gorgeous,' the magazine says in response to backlash

Elle magazine with actress Melissa McCarthy on the

Elle magazine with actress Melissa McCarthy on the cover. The mag has received backlash for covering up the curvy actress in a charcoal Marina Rinaldi coat. Photo Credit: Handout

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Elle magazine didn't expect to get so much heat after putting "The Heat" star Melissa McCarthy on the cover of its annual Women in Hollywood issue, but the fashion mag has received a firestorm of criticism.

Though the 43-year-old actress has probably never been photographed more glamorously, critics are bashing Elle for covering up the curvy actress in a charcoal Marina Rinaldi coat. Alternate covers for the November issue feature Reese Witherspoon showing off her shape in a closefitting black Versace dress, Shailene Woodley in a black swimsuit and a close-up of Penélope Cruz's face.

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Despite all the controversy, Elle is standing by its cover of McCarthy. "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," a rep for the magazine said in a statement. "We are thrilled to honor her as one of our Women in Hollywood this year."

On Wednesday's episode of TV's "omg! Insider," McCarthy told co-anchor Kevin Frazier how flattered she was about doing the shoot. "[Elle is] a magazine I grew up with and I hadn't done anything quite like that. I was nervous," she said. "It was kind of amazing."

This isn't the first time Elle has come under fire for putting a plus-size actress on its cover. For separate covers celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2010, Elle featured full-length shots of actresses Megan Fox, Lauren Conrad and Amanda Seyfried, while "Precious" star Gabourey Sidibe was framed as a head-and-shoulders shot.

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