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Vanity Fair Accused Of Lightening Lupita Nyong'O's Skin

Adaobi Ugoagu |
January 17, 2014 | 3:37 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

Tweeted photo of Lupita from Vanity Fair shoot
Tweeted photo of Lupita from Vanity Fair shoot

Mexican-born and ethnically Kenyan actress/film director Lupita Nyong'o's exotic background and natural African beauty have captured the hearts of thousands.

For those who were not already impressed with her refined grace in the public eye, the "12 Years a Slave" star furthered her already growing fandom with a tearful, touching speech at the Critics Choice Awards after winning Best Supporting Actress.

She silenced the audience with an emotional story of her late uncle, who would have taken pride in her achievements.

With Nyong'o's rising stardom, Vanity Fair saw fit to have her grace the February issue of their magazine, and posted a photo from the shoot on their Twitter page. It is speculated that the photo has been altered in order for Nyong'o's skin to appear lighter.

Lupita now joins the many women of color who have fallen prey to editorials' practices of skin-lightening. In 2008, a L'Oreal Paris advertisement featuring Beyonce Knowles was scrutinized, with rumors that the beauty company had lightened the singer's skin. L'Oreal quickly responded to these allegations with complete denial. 

Click here to read past controversies within the fashion industry. 

This is also not a first-time offense for Vanity Fair. The magazine has been accused of engaging in questionable activity in the not-so-distant past. In 2010, the magazine interviewed Gabourey Sidibe, lead actress in the film "Precious", for their March Issue on "The Fresh Faces of 2010." Breakout stars of 2010 Carey Mulligan, Emma Stone, and Amanda Seyfried were each granted a spot in the elaborate, fold-out cover. Of course, Sidibe was excluded from this group. 

Actions such as these should make readers and even other actresses question the magazine's motives. While the actress held her head high, quickly brushing off the snub, this does not negate the fact that Vanity Fair had possibly been involved with making an executive decision to leave Sidibe off of the cover. Perhaps she wasn't thin enough? Perhaps, in the same way, Nyong'o wasn't light enough? Let us know what you think in the comments section below. 

Reach Staff Reporter Adaobi Ugoagu here and follow her on Twitter



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