Star Wars ac­tress blasts mag­a­zine for miss­ing hair

Sunday Mail - - WORLD - BETHAN WILLIAMS LON­DON

OS­CAR-WIN­NING ac­tor Lupita Ny­ong’o has ac­cused a mag­a­zine of edit­ing out her hair on the front cover of its lat­est edi­tion.

Ny­ong’o posted an im­age of Grazia’s front page on so­cial me­dia along­side the orig­i­nal im­age which shows her with curly hair.

“Dis­ap­pointed that Grazia UK edited out and smoothed my hair to fit a more Euro­cen­tric no­tion of what beau­ti­ful hair looks like,” Ny­ong’o said on Twit­ter.

Ny­ong’o starred in Star Wars: The Force Awak­ens and 12 Years a Slave, for which she won the Best Sup­port­ing Ac­tress Os­car in 2014. She was born in Mex­ico to Kenyan par­ents.

In a post on In­sta­gram, Ny­ong’o ex­plained her dis­ap­point­ment: “As I have made clear so of­ten in the past, I em­brace my nat­u­ral her­itage and de­spite hav­ing grown up think­ing light skin and straight, silky hair were the stan­dards of beauty, I know that my dark skin and my kinky, coily hair are very beau­ti­ful, too.

“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.

“I am dis­ap­pointed that Grazia 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.

“I can­not sup­port or con­done the omis­sion of what is my na­tive her­itage ... there is still a very long way to go to com­bat the un­con­scious prej­u­dice against black women’s com­plex­ion, hair­style and tex­ture.”

Grazia UK yes­ter­day apol­o­gised to Ny­ong’o, say­ing: “Grazia is com­mit­ted to rep­re­sent­ing di­ver­sity through­out its pages and apol­o­gises un­re­servedly to Lupita Ny­ong’o.

“Grazia 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 nor did we al­ter it our­selves.”

WITH­OUT: Lupita Ny­ong’o on the mag­a­zine cover.

WITH: As the ac­tor ac­tu­ally looks.

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