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 people… that 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.