Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o hits out at Grazia UK for 'editing out' her 'kinky' hair on cover

Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o has said she is “disappointed” with women’s lifestyle magazine Grazia UK after it appeared to have altered her picture on the cover of its latest issue.

The 12 Years A Slave actress took to Twitter to accuse the magazine of having “smoothed my hair to fit a more Eurocentric notion of what beautiful hair looks like”.

In pictures shared by the star on social media she can be seen with tied-back hair sticking out at the back, but a picture – seemingly from the same photo shoot – used on the magazine cover shows her with a sleek crop.

Nyong’o said in a post on Instagram that she embraced her “natural heritage” when it came to her appearance and had not been consulted on the apparent changes.

“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 said.

“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.”

She added: “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’s comments echo those made by US singer Solange Knowles – sister of pop superstar Beyoncé – after the Evening Standard Magazine cut out part of hair hair-do on its cover.

Nyong’o used the hashtag #dtmh in her comments on Twitter, a reference to Knowles’s song Don’t Touch My Hair.

Grazia UK, which is owned by Bauer Media Group, is a member of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO).

Under clause one, on accuracy, of IPSO’s Editors’ Code of Practice – the standards by which its members must abide – it states: “The Press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information or images, including headlines not supported by the text.”

Grazia UK told Press Gazette in a statement that it was “committed to representing diversity throughout its pages and apologises unreservedly to Lupita Nyong’o”.

It added: “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 that we were aware of all alterations that had been made.”


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