Photographer apologises for cropping Lupita Nyong’o’s hair on Grazia cover

The photographer responsible for cropping out Lupita Nyong’o’s natural hair on the cover of Grazia has apologised for the “monumental mistake”.

The magazine apologised to the Oscar winner after the she accused the publication of altering her hair  “to fit a more Eurocentric notion” of beauty.

An Le said in a statement to Huff Post UK: “I’ve had some time to reflect on my part in the incident involving Grazia and Ms Nyong’o.

Lupita Nyong’o (Aurore Marechal/PA)
“I realise now what an incredibly monumental mistake I have made and I would like to take this time to apologise to Ms Nyong’o and everyone else that I did offend.

“Though it was not my intention to hurt anyone, I can see now that altering the image of her hair was an unbelievably damaging and hurtful act.”

He added: “As an immigrant myself, it is my duty to be an advocate for the representation of diversity of beauty in this industry.

“I will demonstrate this in my work even more going forward.”

“My altering of her image was not born out of any hate but instead out of my own ignorance and insensitivity to the constant slighting of women of colour throughout the different media platforms.

“There is no excuse for my actions. I deeply regret the pain I’ve caused Ms Nyong’o, a woman I’ve admired for quite some time now.”

Nyong’o, 34, who was raised in Kenya, appears on the front of the UK edition of the fashion magazine, but said she was “disappointed” with the cover.

A spokesman for Grazia said in a statement: “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.”

The Oscar-winning star had posted before and after photographs on Twitter from the magazine shoot.

She told her followers: “Disappointed that Grazia UK edited out and smoothed my hair to fit a more Eurocentric notion of what beautiful hair looks like. #dtmh (don’t touch my hair)”.

And the Star Wars: The Last Jedi actress added on Instagram: “As I have made clear so often in the past with every fibre 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 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 UK 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.”


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