Grazia Cover Photographer Apologises for the ‘Monumental Mistake’ of Editing Out Lupita Nyong’o’s Hair

Grazia Cover Photographer Apologises for the ‘Monumental Mistake’ of Editing Out Lupita Nyong’o’s Hair

The photographer behind Lupita Nyong's new Grazia UK cover feature has been forced to apologize after the actress spoke out upon finding parts of her natural hair had been removed.

Nyong’o – who has made a name for herself starring in films such as "12 Years A Slave" and "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" – decided to speak out against the cover on Twitter this week, stating she was “disappointed” that the publication had “edited out and smoothed [her] hair to fit a more Eurocentric notion of what beautiful hair looks like (sic)."

The actress went even further on her Instagram page, fiercely writing: “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

Grazia has apologized profusely to Nyong’o, but were quick to clarify it was not they who altered the photo. Despite acknowledging that they did not “uphold the highest of editorial standards in ensuring that [they] were aware of all alterations that had been made,” the blame seemingly falls on photographer An Le. Having shot for a whole host of worldwide Vogue publications, Le accepted full responsibility for what he now recognized as a “monumental mistake.” In a statement, he confirmed that it was he who edited the hair, and attributes the reasoning being to his own ignorance rather than any kind of hate.

Nyong’o finished by stating that the fulfillment she usually feels gracing covers has been diminished in the case of Grazia UK. What is normally a platform to “show other dark, kinky-haired peoplethat they are beautiful just the way they are” was lost upon seeing that the final images had omitted characteristics of her native heritage.

[via The Guardian]

Lead image courtesy of Marc Pascual.

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Johnny Rico's picture

Creative chose the photo, creative put the cover together. Control/direction falls on them. Not the photographers fault.

Allen Cooper's picture

Wouldn't have apologized. They could have done worse really. Oooh, such a big surprise from a magazine shoot, they altered a part of the model to suit their vision.

Exactly. Not to mention the ridiculous assumption that it was somehow racist.

Reginald Walton's picture

Well of course you wouldn't have apologized, you just don't get it, as usual.

Allen Cooper's picture

Reginald, of course I get it. Unfortunately thats the industry. I don't think it should have anything to do with race, or any form of bigotry. The cover designers had a certain look they wanted. They used the model as a tool to achieve this. I don't think its any more about her race than it is the fact that they had a vision to achieve. And in all honesty, for the model/actress to get worked up about the whole thing is beyond me. If I (a "slightly" overweight, white male, with short hair) were to have modelled for a shoot would, not get bent out of shape if they slimmed me down, "tanned" my skin, and gave me long hair (or worse, a man bun) to facilitate their overall final image desired. I think at the end of the day, we've all become overly sensitive. By no means am I saying that our society does not have some major issues, that need changing, but I am saying that in this case particularly, I think its being blown out of proportion.

Sean Gibson's picture

Agree! The whole modeling industry in general drives me crazy. Glad I have no desire to ever get into that kind of work.

Shooting an actress for a cover related to an interview inside the very same magazine has as much to do with the "modeling industry" as shooting Donald Trump for a Time Magazine cover.

BLOWN WAY out of proportion. This one and the Solange Knowles hair issue for evening standard magazine or so, I don't remember, which was exactly the same reason as this Lupita issue I imagine - to fit the text layout.

I don't feel it had anything to do wtih race to be really honest... but I understand why it would be perceived as anti-black.... nevertheless magazines have been altering bodies, faces and hairs for yonks for me to see this as racist - especially for the purpose of fitting the text layout onto the photo.

Allen Cooper, please do not lecture anyone regarding "the industry" or using "the model as a tool to achieve blabla" if you seem to lack the understanding between a photograph of a model presenting fashion and the cover shot of an actress that is used to promote an interview with her in the very magazine.

She is not modelling here, it is about her as a person!

The problem is she made it about racial issues, with the insinuation that it's related to racism.

Dan Ostergren's picture

Personally, if a model is upset or offended that part of her body or image was altered, I see no harm in apologizing. Her feelings are valid.

Leigh Miller's picture

Kinda shows just how people "want" to see african americans.

However, there are a series of steps these images go through before the print version is arrived at. Don't buy all the "It wasn't me" baloney.

Anyway who cares...both look pretty good t my eyes.

A ridiculous complaint and just another play of the race card. The original image actually looks more like a white woman.

Hans Rosemond's picture

Seriously, Bob?

Of course, otherwise I wouldn't have posted it. A lot of editing goes on that alters the appearance of women in magazines and so forth. There is simply nothing there to conclude that there was something racist about it.

Hans Rosemond's picture

If you look at her comments, she never said he or anyone was racist. Only that the ideal of beauty is skewed and deserved a more open approach. This invites conversation, not slapping a label of race baiting.

Had the photographer or magazine stopped to think it through, perhaps that conversation would have happened. Racism is being brought into the conversation by you, not Nyong’o.

What the heck are you talking about? SHE made it about race. The insinuation is obviously there.

Hans Rosemond's picture

Talking about race and accusing someone of racism are two entirely different things.

That is the insinuation.

The above post is an imposter account created to stalk and troll. It, and others, has been reported but for some reason Fstoppers has not yet removed it and closed that account.

Alex Armitage's picture

I'd put money on it that Bob is a White Male American. Anyone wanna take bets?

Brian Pernicone's picture

Or a Russian bot.

I'm leaning toward a "camp" account. See Alex's "So bad it's good" article about movies. His responses are as over the top as a campy movie.

Anonymous's picture

Merriem here! Did you know that the first use of the word “camp” in this manner was in 1909?

Troll with an imposter account.

Anonymous's picture

Ahoy-hoy! Perhaps I can be of assistance?

A pseudonym doesn't equal impersonating someone. As for hijacking the conversations of others, this is a forum. Forums are where people go to discuss and debate topics, which is what I do and what everyone else does.

That out of the way, let's go on to describe what you are doing. You have created multiple accounts solely for the purpose of stalking and trolling what I post, including impersonating me. Why do you do that? Because you are ultimately intolerant of anyone expressing an opinion that you don't agree with, which is the antithesis of a forum. You are the one that is hijacking discussions on this site.

No doubt you consider yourself liberal, but you're actions are the actions of a fascist. Cut the nonsnese already, grow up and learn to be tolerant of others disagreeing with you and the things you believe in.

Now getting back to pseudonyms, if you keep up this activity I may just create an account with my real name. WIll you try and impersonate me then? You may think this is funny, but I can assure that at that point you would be playing a very dangerous game.


"It is not unlawful to impersonate someone per se, however, it is very difficult to impersonate someone without then going on to commit another offence (either civil or criminal)."

PS. People like you are a big reason why pseudonyms are used so much these days. What next? You're going to come stalk me in the real word?

By the way, you missed the irony in wrongly accusing me of impersonating while actually impersonating me and the Mirriam Webster company.

Why would you feel the need to say American? Are you suggesting that Americans are somehow more racist than other nationalities, a people from a country that has done a far, far, far better job than any other country in accepting and integrating immigrants of all kinds, even when they come into the country illegally by the millions, or do you simply have a thing against Americans?

As for being white, are white people somehow also more racist than colored people? What evidence do you have to support that?

The truth is those who have historically been the targets of racism and discrimination usually end up being just as bad, and often much worse. No surprise that so do their offspring, who have been conditioned to be victims and to hate white people in an age where little relative racism and discrimination against them actually takes place. That's why they end up with organizations that promote only their race and that encourage and perpetuate racism and discrimination against white people. The madness and lie of political correctness sees to it that such minority racism and discrimination against white discrimination is more than OK.

The worst racism and discrimination in America is perpetrated by minorities, the so-called victims. I'm betting that you're not even American, so how would you know?

The tl;dr version of this is "yes, I'm a White Male American."

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