Oscar award winner Lupita Nyong’o has blasted a UK magazine, accusing it of altering her looks to give her an European appearance.
The Kenyan actress, once rated the most beautiful person on Earth, called out Grazia Daily UK, claiming the magazine had “edited out” and “smoothed” her hair.
“Disappointed that @GraziaUK edited out & smoothed my hair to fit a more Eurocentric notion of what beautiful hair looks like,” she wrote on Twitter.
The Kenyan-Mexican actress attached three images from the photo shoot with two depicting her with long, curly hair and another with short hair.
She was even more blunt 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,” charged Lupita.
“Being featured on the cover of a magazine fulfill 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.”
She explained that had she been consulted, she would have explained that she “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”.
Lupita told the magazine that days when she wished she could change how she looked were long gone.
“There’s room in this world for beauty to be diverse,” she said.
In the interview, she added that she uses make-up to celebrate her skin tone, rather than to hide it.
“For me, make-up is not a necessity. Make-up is not a mask, it’s an adornment, an accessory,” she adds.
In February 2014, Nyong’o told the Essence magazine’s Black Women in Hollywood event that there was a time she felt “unbeautiful”.
“I put on the TV and only saw pale skin. I got teased and taunted about my night-shaded skin. And my one prayer to God, the miracle worker, was that I would wake up lighter-skinned,” she told Essence.
But that feeling is now behind her, she says.
Grazia’s treatment of her photos also left her followers equally disappointed.
“How can you look at Lupita Nyong’o, literally the most beautiful woman on earth, and think you need to change anything??? SMH,” tweeted Festive Grace.
“The photo to the left is the one they should have kept. That's definitely art, and culture; at the exact same time,” added Movaci.
Yago went on: “expose these racist system, my girl”
Akanmu ade also weighed in: “Did you see what they did to Solange Knowles hair? And she’s even got a tune called “Don’t Touch My Hair” and they still did. Show how much they listen. Join the club Lupita, join the club.”
The magazine has yet to respond.
Lupita shot to global fame in 2013 thanks to her performance as Patsey in Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave.
In 2014, the People magazine bestowed the honour of the most beautiful person on Earth by featuring her on its cover.
She said the honour was "…a major, major compliment... I was happy for all the girls who would see me on [the cover] and feel a little more seen."
Her criticism of Grazia comes weeks after she accused disgraced Hollywood director Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment.
-Additional reporting by Harry Misiko.