Lupita Nyong'o slams magazine for altering her appearance
Fashion and other magazines targeted at the female demographic have a pretty rough track record when it comes to photoshopping. There have been a plethora of examples wherein celebrities and models have had their bodies digitally altered, often in ways they have been offended by. It now looks like the women's weekly magazine Grazia is following this trend as it has recently caused an upset with its latest cover.
Lupita Nyong'o, the (amazing) actress who won an Oscar for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role with 12 Years a Slave, has called out the magazine after they photoshopped her photo for the cover of their November issue. While sometimes these alterations are subtle, this one was pretty glaring, as she showed by posting the before and after photos side-by-side on social media.
Her hair had been digitally altered in such an obvious way it's hard to see how the magazine thought no one would notice, or what exactly their motives for doing so were. Nyong'o's interview accurately showed her beliefs, but she was left "disappointed" by how she was represented on the cover.
She goes into greater deal over why this was frustrating on her Instagram, where she said:
"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"
The irony is that the interview itself was about beauty standards, as well as her views on diversity in the movie industry. Grazia even point out in the article that she is the first black ambassador for Lancome and one of the very few black actresses to win an Oscar.
"There’s room in this world for beauty to be diverse," the actress said, "It’s about actually putting your money where your mouth is and changing the demographics of the people making movies".
The magazine's editorial team issued an apology for alterations made, although they claim that the changes were made without their knowledge, implicating the photographer:
"Grazia is committed to representing diversity throughout its pages and apologises unreservedly to Lupita Nyong’o. Grazia magazine 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 on this week’s cover, nor did we alter it ourselves.
"But we apologise unreservedly for not upholding the highest of editorial standards in ensuring that we were aware of all alterations that had been made."
You have to wonder what the photographer was thinking when they made those changes, if they were the one responsible for these alterations. Seems like a terrible idea that they were never going to get away with.