Bless the internet for providing everyone with a platform to stand up for themselves. Another issue relating to being up to par with the “beauty standards” that the fashion industry has set rose just recently. Actress Lupita Nyong’o took to Twitter and later to Instagram, expressing her frustration with Grazia Magazine, U.K. for editing out her hair for their cover without informing her prior to making the move.
The young actress mentioned how they had “edited out and smoothed” her hair so that it “fit a more Eurocentric notion of what beautiful hair looks like.” Lupita posted pictures that show what the original photo shoot looked like and how edited the cover is. In the original pictures, Lupita’s hair is longer and tied into a low ponytail which is very different from the shaved head look that the magazine displays. A look that the Queen of Katwe star has sported multiple times before.
In her caption on Instagram, she clearly explains how she is not in the favor of such editing and how she wouldn’t have allowed it had the matter been discussed with her beforehand. “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.”
The message was followed a dtmh hashtag (don’t touch my hair) that Solange had also used just a few weeks ago when Evening Standard had edited out her braid halo from their cover photo. Lacy Redway, celebrity hairstylist, pointed out how similar both the incidences were and wrote “Silence is compliance. We can’t continue to watch bad behavior happen infront of us just because we don’t think it affects us directly.”
People have unabashedly shown their support to Lupita with scores of comments and thousands of likes flooding her posts. Though the British magazine has acknowledged the actress’s posts and apologized, social media users are still disappointed with their rather vague response. Grazia has not explained who is responsible for this act.
We’re proud that Lupita Nyong’o has stood by the powerful words that she had said when she was awarded an Oscar in 2014 for the role of best supporting actress. She had said, “When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every little child that no matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.” Here’s to hoping that from now on perceived beauty standards wouldn’t be stiff or suffocating and the fashion world would accept and represent beauty as it is.