Lupita Nyong’o Gracefully Shuts Down Vogue Magazine after Comparisons to Audrey Hepburn
A couple of days after the chaos of The Met Gala – fashion pubs are still required to work overtime to expertly translate and analyze the night’s overpriced and heightened dramatics.
Vogue magazine is usually considered the leader of the pack when it comes to dissecting every detail – from the diamonds and pearls to the Princess heels and glow-in–the dark ensembles.
And then there’s the hairstyle of choice – that undergo a range of futuristic employments.
Most of the time – the upsweeps, up dos, side parts, and messy buns are standard fare and easy to glaze over but not when Oscar-winner and Tony Awards nominee Lupita Nyong’o shows up.
The Mexican-born Kenyan actress arrived at the festivities looking stunningly regal in a flirty aquamarine sequined number that gorgeously offset her deep noir complexion.
But the talk of the town was what Vogue described as a “sculptural style reminiscent of the updo Hepburn sported in a 1963 Vogue shoot.”
While, the revered pub did make sure to point out in the piece they curated that Nyong’o had specifically pointed out on the red carpet that her Matrix-like hairdo was a tribute to singer and civil rights activist – Nina Simone who was known for her adherence to the Afrocentric aesthetic – the editors seemed more keen on celebrating the similarities between Nyong’o and Audrey Hepburn as opposed to seizing the opportunity to shine the spotlight on the delightfully complex catalogue of African hairstyles.
Nyongo’o wasn’t wiling to allow Vogue the last word and instead decided to use her Instagram feed to once and for all emphasize how and why her style of choice was gratifyingly personal and specifically catered to the heydays of icon Nina Simone who was in turn influenced by the primal braids and threading of the Diaspora.
Vogue – may have very well been driven to highlight Audrey Hepburn in order to reminisce about her influence as a style icon who evidently still serves as an inspiration decades later.
But that rhetoric is one that has to be redefined to include the narrative that deserves recognition but always gets sidelined for the more generic versions.
As the issue of diversity looms over every facet of the industry – featuring more models of color and making every attempt to expand the boundaries of makeup and accessories isn’t enough.
It is the delivery of the goods through the words on the page and the educational aspect that gives the readers the assurance that there is more to the ideal of beauty than what has been heavily revisited.
Vogue missed the opportunity of a lifetime. Hopefully there will be another chance to evoke the historical significance of the trends of old that helped propel everything else that followed.
It’s time to give credit where its due – and it starts with All things Africa.