Lupita Nyong'o is gracing the cover of UK magazine Grazia this month, but she had to call the magazine out after it was very clear that they digitally altered the photograph to smooth our her natural hair. The Oscar-winning actress took to both her Twitter and Instagram to explain why she was so disappointed in the decision. Grazia has now issued a formal apology.
Lupita was able to go into further detail on her Instagram, where she again expressed her disappointment at the magazine's choice to retouch her hair. She explained what her hair means to her and what removing it means for the culture. “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 wrote. “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.”
In a statement to Fader, Grazia claimed they are “committed to representing diversity throughout its pages” and apologized “unreservedly” to Lupita. The statement went on, in part, to say "at no point did [Grazia] make any editorial request to the photographer for Lupita Nyong'o’s hair to be altered… nor did we alter it ourselves.” The magazine further apologized for “not upholding the highest of editorial standards in ensuring that that we were aware of all alterations that had been made."
Lupita ended her Instagram caption with the hashtag #dtmh, a nod to Solange’s Seat at the Table song “Don’t Touch My Hair,” which is about the cultural power of black hair. Ironically enough, Solange’s hair was also photoshopped out of the cover of the Evening Standard Magazine just last month. There was also an apology issued in that case.