Lupita Nyong’o Blasts U.K. Magazine for Photoshopping Out Her ‘Kinky, Coily Hair’
Actress Lupita Nyong’o on Thursday voiced her displeasure with the glossy British magazine Grazia U.K. for how she appeared on its cover.
“Disappointed that @GraziaUK edited out & smoothed my hair to fit a more Eurocentric notion of what beautiful hair looks like,” she posted on Twitter.
Nyong’o, of 12 Years a Slave fame, also posted a lengthy statement on Instagram. With the messages, she attached photos of Grazia’s edited November 2017 cover and what appeared to be original images from the cover photo shoot. The end product shows Nyong’o with a short, sheen cut minus a ponytail’s worth of hair. The Oscar winner also added the hashtag #dtmh to her posts, short of “don’t touch my hair.”
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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
The photoshop job, she said, was an attempt by the magazine to make her “fit their notion of what beautiful hair looks like.”
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“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,” she said.
Bauer Media, which owns Grazia, did not immediately return Fortune‘s request for comment.
Nyong’o’s criticism of the cover comes weeks after singer Solange Knowles blasted the London Evening Standard magazine with similar feedback. Knowles appeared on its cover without a braid crown she’d had at the cover photoshoot. On Instagram, Knowles posted an original image and tagged the Evening Standard with the #dtmh hashtag. “Don’t Touch My Hair” is the title of a song on Knowles’s latest album.
The fashion industry has made strides of late to broaden and diversify its image of beauty, but magazines undercut those efforts when they—quite literally—erase the traits that make women unique.