Lupita is the latest celebrity to have her natural hair erased from the front cover of a magazine. It was only last month that Solange Knowles received the same thoughtless treatment by the Evening Standard. This time Grazia magazine failed to realise the disrespect their actions would have.
In her Instagram post, the Oscar-winning actress said: “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.”
She said she was “disappointed” it changed her hairstyle to “fit their notion of what beautiful hair looks like”.
The actress posted the original image on Instagram alongside the published version – which appears to show some of her hair missing.
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
Grazia responded with the following statement.
The Vietnamese born photographer has also publically apologised.
“My altering of her image was not born out of any hate but instead out of my own ignorance and insensitivity to the constant slighting of women of colour throughout the different media platforms. There is no excuse for my actions. I deeply regret the pain I’ve caused Ms. Nyong’o, a woman I’ve admired for quite some time now”.