Lupita Nyong'o Criticizes Grazia UK For Offensive and Irresponsible Retouching

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In the most recent news of discrimination, Lupita Nyong’o called out Grazia UK after it photoshopped her hair on its November cover.

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In an Instagram post, Lupita shared the before images of her shoot next to the final cover. The before images clearly show her hair pulled back into a ponytail, showing off her natural texture. On the cover though, the Oscar winner’s hair looks just like a close crop cut.

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


“As I have made clear so often in the past with every fiber of my being,” she began in her lengthy caption, “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.”

She notes that the magazine “edited out and smoothed my hair to fit their notion of what beautiful hair looks like.”

She even writes that if they consulted her she would have explained, “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.”

Her clear and inspiring message gained tons of support in the comments and on Twitter, following the hashtag #dtmh.

“All glossy magazines edit photos to represent a illusion to fit their agenda,” wrote one Instagram commenter. “Constantly portraying a beauty that doesn’t exist!... thank you for calling them out!”

One Twitter user wrote, "Really shouldn’t be any excuse for this! #dtmh" 


Another noted that this isn't even the first time in recent news. “I need these magazines to stop cropping our crowns. First, Solange in Evening Standard and now Lupita in Grazia. #dtmh"


Quick to act, this morning the magazine issued a statement apologizing. It began by claiming its commitment to diversity. Then continuing, “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. But we apologize unreservedly for not upholding the highest editorial standards in ensuring that we were aware of all alterations that had been made.”


This isn’t the first time Lupita has had to deal with this sort of discrimination. In 2014, Vanity Fair faced criticism after people on social media pointed out that the actress’s skin looked significantly lighter.

Three years later, and we clearly have a long way to go when it comes to awareness of discrimination.

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