Lupita Nyong’o’s afro hair REMOVED from Grazia UK cover

#dtmh: Lupita Nyong’o is proud of her natural afro hair

Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o has lashed out at Grazia UK after the magazine digitally removed her afro hair from their latest cover.

Nyong’o, 34, is Grazia UK’s November cover star and has given an exclusive interview to the publication. However, it appears Grazia got carried away with the Photoshop and actually removed Nyong’o’s afro puff and smoothed out some bumps.

Refusing to stand for the blatant omittance of her natural hair, Nyong’o called out Grazia in an impassioned Instagram post. The 12 Years A Slave actress 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.”

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

The Hollywood star continued: “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.”

Grazia UK are yet to comment on the controversy.


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When will these so-called inclusive magazines learn?

Nyong’o is not the first black actress to slam a publication for modifying their natural beauty. So when will these magazines learn?

Just last month (October), Solange Knowles had to call out London’s Evening Standard newspaper for digitally removing a part of her exquisite hairstyle from their cover. Sparking a social media trend, Knowles warned the publication: “#dtmh. Don’t touch my hair.”

Supporting the empowerment movement, Nyong’o also used the #dtmh hashtag when blasting Grazia UK.

Solange Knowles was outraged to learn that the Evening Standard had cropped part of her hairstyle

It would be easy to sit here and list the countless number of times a black celebrity has been used as a pawn to sell covers without the magazine representing their true image. It is a conversation that needs to happen but it is also a situation that could be avoided before the cover even gets to print.

Case in point, why aren’t these black celebrities previewing their magazine covers beforehand? Why is it not stipulated somewhere in their contract or agreement that their hair should not be digitally enhanced or their skin lightened to the point of unrecognition?

These are measures that surely can – and should – be taken. However, that by no means suggests it is acceptable for these national and international magazines to feel they can alter a black woman’s image to suit their mainstream idea of beauty. It will never be right and, in 2017, it is appalling that they are still attempting to get away with it.

With social media now such a powerful tool, Nyong’o, Knowles and other successful women surely do not need a one-off magazine cover to promote their latest venture. If the sheer disrespect of stifling the black woman’s natural beauty continues, then why not boycott these so-called inclusive publications? Like the famous quote so profoundly states: “The blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice.” And this notion will always win.

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