Lupita Nyong’o Checks Grazia UK For Photoshopping Her Puff Off Their Cover

November 10, 2017  |  

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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.

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. Being featured on the cover of a magazine fulfills 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. 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. 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. #dtmh

A post shared by Lupita Nyong'o (@lupitanyongo) on

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.

Veronica Wells is the culture editor at She is also the author of “Bettah Days” and the creator of the website NoSugarNoCreamMag. You can follow her on Facebook and on Instagram and Twitter @VDubShrug.

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