Lupita Nyong’o called out a fashion magazine for an unauthorized edit of her cover photo that changed her hair.
Nyong’o was “disappointed” that Grazia U.K. Magazine used a photoshopped image, which wrongfully showed her with straight hair pulled back into a ponytail. The botched picture perpetuated the stereotype that “Black hair” or kinky strands do not fit ideal beauty standards, the “Black Panther” actress, 34, said in an Instagram post Thursday.
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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
Nyong’o rebuked colorism as part of a demeaning pattern of prejudice aimed at Black women. The incident brings to mind longstanding issues that dark-skinned women of color have had to face when it comes to conforming to European notions of beauty.
In response to the actress’ complaints, Grazia U.K. released a statement on Twitter.
The magazine’s statement did not explain exactly how the offending mishap happened with the cover photo.
This is far from the first time that Nyong’o has been vocal about the mistreatment of Black women. The actress came forward about a disturbing encounter with Harvey Weinstein, who is surrounded by a storm of sexual assault allegations, in a blistering op-ed for The New York Times last month.