Friday, October 22, 2021

Lupita Nyong’o Calls Out British Magazine for Photoshopping Her Hair; Apology Ensues

Lupita Nyong'o (Grazia U.K.)
Lupita Nyong’o (Grazia U.K.)

*Lupita Nyong’o was not happy Thursday upon seeing her new cover of Grazia U.K., which she said had photoshopped out the natural kink and coil of her hair.

The “Black Panther” star let the publication know she was very disappointed that it “edited out and smoothed” her hair to “fit a more Eurocentric notion of what beautiful hair looks like.” On Instagram, she shared both the cover of the magazine, in which she appears with hair closely cropped to her head, in addition to what appeared to be original images, in which she has much longer hair, tied in a ponytail.

In the caption, Nyong’o described at length why she took the issue to heart.

“Being featured on the cover of a magazine fulfills me as it is an opportunity to show other dark, kinky-haired people, and particularly our children, that they are beautiful just the way they are,” she wrote. “ . . . Had I been consulted, I would have explained that I cannot support or condone the omission of what is my native heritage with the intention that they appreciate that there is still a very long way to go to combat the unconscious prejudice against black women’s complexion, hair style and texture.”

As I have made clear so often in the past with every fiber of my being, I embrace my natural heritage and despite having grown up thinking light skin and straight, silky hair were the standards of beauty, I now know that my dark skin and kinky, coily hair are beautiful too. Being featured on the cover of a magazine fulfills me as it is an opportunity to show other dark, kinky-haired people, and particularly our children, that they are beautiful just the way they are. I am disappointed that @graziauk invited me to be on their cover and then edited out and smoothed my hair to fit their notion of what beautiful hair looks like. Had I been consulted, I would have explained that I cannot support or condone the omission of what is my native heritage with the intention that they appreciate that there is still a very long way to go to combat the unconscious prejudice against black women’s complexion, hair style and texture. #dtmh

A post shared by Lupita Nyong’o (@lupitanyongo) on

On Friday, Grazia issued an apology.

“Grazia is committed to representing diversity throughout its pages and apologizes unreservedly to Lupita Nyong’o,” the magazine began. The statement went on, saying that the magazine would “like to make it clear” that no one on the staff made a request to the photographer “for Nyong’o’s hair to be altered . . . nor did we alter it ourselves.”

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