London, United Kingdom | AFP | Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong’o, who won an Oscar for her role in “12 Years a Slave”, on Friday complained her hair had been airbrushed out of the front cover of women’s magazine Grazia UK.
“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,” she said in a lengthy post on Instagram.
She said it was an “omission of what is my native heritage”, adding: “There is still a very long way to go to combat the unconscious prejudice against black women’s complexion, hair style and texture.”
She posted the original image, showing that her frizzy bob of hair had been removed and the rest smoothed out.
The actress said she had viewed being featured on a magazine cover as “an opportunity to show other dark, kinky-haired people, and particularly our children, that they are beautiful just the way they are”.
The magazine apologised for the airbrushing but blamed the photographer for the alterations.
“Grazia is committed to representing diversity throughout its pages and apologises unreservedly to Lupita Nyong’o,” the magazine said on Twitter.
Beyonce’s sister Solange Knowles last month criticised the London Evening Standard magazine for digitally removing her hair braids from its cover.
Knowles posted an original version of the image with the caption “dtmh” (don’t touch my hair).
Earlier this week, British Vogue unveiled its December cover which will be the first since Ghana-born Edward Enninful was named as editor in April.
Diversity will feature heavily and the cover model chosen is Adwoa Aboah, a British fashion model and feminist activist of British and Ghanaian descent.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, who is also interviewed in the magazine, said Enninful was “showing Britain at its diverse and creative best.”