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Lupita Nyong’o accuses magazine of editing her curly hair to fit ‘Eurocentric’ ideals

Oscar-winning actor Lupita Nyong’o has revealed how Grazia photoshopped her coily hair to look flat and ‘perfect’ by their ‘Eurocentric’ standards.

hollywood Updated: Nov 10, 2017 19:24 IST
The Guardian
Lupita Nyongo,Lupita Nyong’o,Lupita Nyong’o Hair
Luptia Nyong’o posted a collage of the edited and original pictures on Twitter and Instagram.(Twitter)

The Oscar-winning actor Lupita Nyong’o has accused Grazia magazine of editing her hair on the front cover of its latest edition to “fit a more Eurocentric notion of what beautiful hair looks like”.

Nyong’o posted an image of the Grazia front page on social media alongside what appears to be the original image. While the cover of Grazia shows Nyong’o with short and smooth hair, the original image shows that some of her hair has been removed.

“Disappointed that Grazia UK edited out and smoothed my hair to fit a more Eurocentric notion of what beautiful hair looks like,” Nyong’o said on Twitter .

In a longer post on Instagram, she added: “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 fulfils 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 Grazia UK 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.”

Nyong’o starred in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and 12 Years A Slave, for which she won the best supporting actress Oscar in 2014. She was born in Mexico to Kenyan parents and grew up in Kenya.

A post shared by Grazia UK (@graziauk) on

Her comments come a month after Solange Knowles criticised the London Evening Standard for apparently digitally altering an image of her for the cover of its weekly magazine.

The Evening Standard Magazine removed a braided crown from Knowles’s head in its cover image. Knowles subsequently published the original image including the braids on Instagram with the caption “dtmh”, an abbreviation of Don’t Touch My Hair, the name of a song on her latest album . Nyong’o also put “dtmh” at the end of her social media posts.

dtmh @eveningstandardmagazine

A post shared by Solange (@saintrecords) on

The Standard apologised for altering Knowles’s hair, saying it was a “matter of great regret”. It added: “The decision to amend the photograph was taken for layout purposes, but plainly we made the wrong call and we have offered our unreserved apologies to Solange.”

Grazia has been approached for a comment.

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First Published: Nov 10, 2017 19:24 IST