Damn it, people, can we please stop doing things that force Lupita Nyong’o to write impassioned, beautiful defenses of her own personhood? It’s not that essays like Nyong’o’s reflections on her encounters with Harvey Weinstein over the years aren’t touching, fascinating reads, but it would be nice to cut the woman a goddamn break for once.
We’re specifically talking to you, Grazia UK, the British women’s magazine that recently did a cover story on the Oscar-winning actress. That’s all well and good, except for the fact that the magazine’s editors apparently found Nyong’o’s frizzy hair unacceptable for their cover, so they did the simple, rational thing, and just Photoshopped most of it off.
As Nyong’o notes, Grazia’s actions aren’t just rude; they’re also part of a much larger conversation about beauty standards, and the way black women are constantly being told by the media that their natural looks are somehow inferior. “Had I been consulted,” she wrote on Instagram, “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.” Then she finished it with a “Don’t Touch My Hair” hashtag, just for good measure.