The photographer who airbrushed part of Lupita Nyong’o’s hair from a Grazia magazine cover has apologized.
An Le said he recognized smoothing down, and editing out, parts of her hair was a “damaging and hurtful act”.
The actress said she was “disappointed” the magazine changed her hairstyle to “fit their notion of what beautiful hair looks like”.
She posted the image on Instagram next to the published version – which shows some of her hair missing.
View this post on Instagram
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. #dtmh
It was from the UK-based magazine’s November edition.
“I’ve had some time to reflect on my part in the incident involving Grazia and Ms. Nyong’o,” said An Le
“I realize now what an incredibly monumental mistake I have made and I would like to take this time to apologize 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 did.
“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.”
In a lengthy Instagram post, the Oscar-winning actress said: “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.”
n a statement issued on Friday, Grazia said it was “committed to representing diversity” and apologised to the actress.
It also said it also wanted to make clear that it did not ask the photographer to alter the image or make the edit.
Lupita is the latest star to tell a UK magazine not to touch her hair.
Solange Knowles hit out at the London Evening Standard magazine last month for digitally removing some of her braids on its front cover.
The magazine later said sorry.