Lupita Nyong’o Calls Out 'Grazia' Magazine for Photoshopping Out Her Hair

Lupita Nyong’o took a stance against UK-based Grazia magazine after it Photoshopped out her full hair for the cover of its November issue.

The Oscar winner took to Instagram to express her disappointment at the publication’s artistic editing, calling the magazine out for trying to change her look to “fit their notion of what beautiful hair looks like.”

“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, oily hair are beautiful too,” she wrote.

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

Nyong’o has previously revealed that she was teased and bullied growing up for having “night-shade skin,” and told Vogue in a 2014 short film, Braids, that she was made to feel “unbeautiful.” It took time and growing up, she said, to recognize that she was beautiful just the way she was.

“What I love about my hair texture,” she said in the film, “[is] you can do all sorts of interesting, angular shapes with it. Braiding just tells a story.”

In her post to Instagram Thursday, the actress pointed out that she further felt disappointed in the magazine’s decision to change her hairstyle because she recognizes that fans look to her as a role model.

“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. “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.”

Ngyong’o finished off her lengthy post with the hashtag “#dtmh,” an acronym referencing Solange Knowles’ apropos 2016 song “Don’t Touch My Hair.”

Grazia responded to Ngyong’o’s accusations in a statement Friday, noting that as a publication, it is “committed to representing diversity throughout its pages.” The magazine also apologized “unreservedly” to the actress.

Grazia magazine would like to make it clear that at no point did they make any editorial request to the photographer for Lupita Nyong’o’s hair to be altered on this week’s cover, nor did we alter it ourselves,” the statement continued. “But we apologize unreservedly for not upholding the highest of editorial standards in ensuring that we were aware of all alterations that had been made.”

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