The Mike and Molly star got all glammed up for the shoot, but while some of the actresses who posed for the Women in Hollywood issue showed lots of skin, the 43-year-old was covered up in a loose-fitting Marina Rinaldi coat.
"Hopefully it's not a message that full-figured women are not meant to be seen," plus-size supermodel and activist Emme told CNN. "I'm not going to take it like that. I'm just happy that Melissa's on the cover and she looks fantastic. I just would have liked to have seen a little bit more of her."
While McCarthy told OMG Insider that it was "kind of amazing" to be asked to join actresses like Reese Witherspoon, Penelope Cruz and Shailene Woodley as cover subjects for the November issue, the online community was outraged that the magazine hid The Heat star's voluptuous curves.
Elle has responded to the backlash and defends McCarthy's cover look, saying in a statement, "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."
But Emme, who calls McCarthy a role model, hints that the magazine didn't do McCarthy justice.
"We love the whole package of who she is and what she brings to us as entertainment and to cover her up is really a missed opportunity for celebration."