Lupita Nyong’o is expressing her disappointment over a recently Photoshopped magazine cover.
The Oscar-winning actress, who appears on the November 2017 cover of Grazia UK magazine, addressed the publication via Instagram for removing her afro ponytail from the photoshoot.
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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
Nyong’o’s statement garnered over 3000 messages of support from fans, who praised the actress for her outspoken words. “Thank you for being who you are, the way you are! May the good energies of the universe bless you!” one user wrote.
The actress has long been a champion for diversity in the media and is diligent about using her platform to support underrepresented communities in Hollywood.
Grazia UK magazine has since addressed the controversy in a statement issued to the Telegraph. “Grazia is committed to representing diversity throughout its pages and apologises unreservedly to Lupita Nyong’o,” the explanation read. “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 apologise unreservedly for not upholding the highest of editorial standards in ensuring that we were aware of all alterations that had been made.”
Photographer, An Le, has since apologized for photoshopping the “Black Panther” star’s hair. “I’ve had some time to reflect on my part in the incident involved Grazia and Ms. Nyong’o,” he wrote in a statement. “I realize now what an incredibly monumental mistake I have made and I would like to take this time to apologize to Ms. Nyong’o and everyone else I did offend.”
“Though it was not my intention to hurt anyone, I can see now that altering the image of her hair was an unbelievably damaging and hurtful act,” he said. “As an immigrant myself, it is my duty to be an advocate for the representation of diversity of beauty in this industry. I will demonstrate this in my work, even more, going forward.”
Adding, “There is no excuse for my actions. I deeply regret the pain I’ve cause Ms. Nyong’o, a woman I’ve admired for quite some time now. Again, I would like to say I’m deeply sorry to everyone I did offend. I want to thank Lupita for addressing this important issue.”