It seems like it was just last month that we were having a conversation about publications [with predominately White staff and predominately White leadership] taking liberties with a Black woman’s hair.
I say that facetiously as I know damn well that it was last month when Evening Standard decided to photoshop an elaborate crown Solange wore for the cover photo shoot out of the final picture.
The affront was particularly egregious considering that in the very interview for the publication, Solange spoke about having autonomy over her own image.
Today, another Black woman is speaking out against another United Kingdom publication for the exact…same…thing.
Lupita Nyong’o graced the cover of Grazia UK. Nyong’o is not new to this cover girl life. She looks stunning, as usual.
Still, she didn’t appreciate the final image. And in a recent Instagram post, she let her feelings be known.
You’ll note that she signed it as Solange did hers. #DTMH “Don’t touch my hair.”
Which reminds me of lyrics from the song, “They don’t understand what it means to me…”
I know these visual editors likely felt they were simply making an editorial decision, that it wouldn’t matter whether Lupita’s puff was visible or not. But in a society where kinky, Black hair is still so readily disparaged, they missed an opportunity to embrace an undeniably Black look. And when, as Lupita stated, you’re trying to show other dark skinned girls that they can make it just as they are, those “looks” are more than just fashion choices.
These magazines gon’ learn.