Did Vanity Fair Lighten The Skin of this Actress?

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by David Jordan

Everyone knows how beautiful Lupita Nyong’o is, especially after seeing her glow on the big screen.  The star of the hit movie, “12 Years a Slave” has gotten buzz all throughout Hollywood for her extraordinary performance.  She has been nominated for an Oscar, a Golden Globe and is quickly becoming one of the leading faces of high fashion.

If she has been so successful, then why in the world is Vanity Fair allegedly lightening her skin?  That’s the question being asked by millions of fans, who are concerned about the most recent images of the actress that have appeared in public.

This week, Vanity Fair made the announcement that the beautiful 30-year old Kenyan was going to be on their cover.  They then tweeted a photo of the woman looking stunning as usual.  But there was something different about this picture, namely that she appeared far darker than anyone had seen her before.

It was after grabbing other pictures of the woman from the past that people put two and two together to realize that Vanity Fair may have made her more “acceptable” for the cover by lightening her up to become desirable to the public.  This is a no-no, and the magazine is getting major fire for this one.

One of the first tweets came from someone by the name of Renee Kelly “PR Girl”: “@VanityFair: The stunning @Lupita_Nyongo did you lighten her skin?” she asked.

This is not the first time that Vanity Fair has been accused of giving black women “fairer” skin.  They appeared to have done the same thing with both India Arie and Beyonce.  They were criticized for both images, but seem to have been unfazed by this.  Do you think they are inviting this attention in order to sell magazines?



  1. Jan

    January 17, 2014 at 10:37 am

    My girl is just beautiful as she is and every time i see what she can do with short hair, I am just too jealous. She is one beautiful sister to me. Get real Vanity Fair, we are not trying to be white or bright or whatever that is you are trying to do.

  2. ericaf

    January 17, 2014 at 11:11 am

    I guess when they like us they lighten us and when they don’t they darken us ala OJ

  3. etreman

    January 17, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Unfortunately, still in this day and age the perception by many whites as well as many blacks is that lighter skin is ‘less threatening’.

  4. sherrie chapman

    January 17, 2014 at 11:38 am

    She is a BEAUTIFUL Black women just as she is. Shame on Vanity Fair to changing her on their magazine. The must not like dark skin people. That’s what is action tells me.

  5. Bucktooth

    January 17, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    Here we go again! There is sooo much garbage about our skin color I can’t believe it! This is slavemaster mentality again, which Is Vanity Fair! The magazine was invented by white women..for white women. These white women are portrayed as beautiful even though most of them are not! It is acceptable if you are lighter skinned..remember darker is powerful! Maybe that’s one of the reasons white people run to get as dark as they just looks better!

  6. J

    January 17, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    Pleas people, Im a dark skinned woman, while I do get mixed feelings about this, all it looks like is a “glamour” filter or something.

  7. Toni

    January 17, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    She is absolutely more beautiful with her natural color skin than she is with the other.

    She needs to be left alone and let her beauty be as it really is.

  8. Kookie

    January 17, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Her beautiful dark skin is why she is so beautiful. Vanity fair does not want to show how beautiful we are without trying to look white.

  9. Devon

    January 17, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    Al that “slave master” sheit aside, I dont like Lupitas lightened pic. It looks “off” and doesnt reflect her natural beauty and NO EXCUSES about its the camera lighting because there are many red carpet pics of her that reflect her true hue. I want to hear what Lupita AND Vanity have to say about this.

  10. Corbin

    January 17, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    I think she looks a little better in the lighter pic. No harm done.

  11. Carolyn M.

    January 17, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    This is a pretty dark chocolate woman.

  12. Clarice

    January 17, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    She is just as beautiful, even with better lighting, my father and other relatives are photographers and darker skins do require, good lighting to shade out shadows.

  13. Sandra Dee

    January 17, 2014 at 8:29 pm

    I think it’s the lighting, but if they lightened her skin and she isn’t complaining why should I.

  14. Rev. George Brooks

    January 17, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    “Black skin is beautiful, and white is ugly.” It’s a new saying and chant that a group that I am associate with are now putting out. So hearing about this ridiculous make up mess is a huge green light for what my group is attempting to push. White folks look like ghosts, and they are actually jealous of others with skin that is tan, yellow, brown and black. And they have long been psyching out black folks to believe that white is more beautiful, and the way everyone should be trying to look like. Wake up black folks, and raise hell about Vanity Fair, and vigorously tell blacks to disconnect themselves from these evil whites as much as possible, and focus more on BLACK looks, thinking and ways of life. STOP LETTING THESE UGLY WHITE FOLKS INFLUENCE YOU IN ANYWAY!!! Remember,”Black is beautiful, and white is ugly.” — Rev. George Brooks

    • Marie

      January 18, 2014 at 11:01 am

      Come on Rev, it’s alright to disagree about a matter; however, calling white people ugly is not Godly. This surprising coming from u of all people you should know that God created us and loves us all.

    • ST

      January 18, 2014 at 7:08 pm

      Rev., I thought “God so loved the world….” Not parts of it. And I thought you were supposed to “love thy neighbor as thyself..” Not some neighbors. Where’s your love for the beauty of all mankind?

  15. ericaf

    January 18, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    Please not forget we have dark skinned little girls who are seeing theses lightened images and will probably think they are not good enough. This lightening mess needs to be addressed

  16. ST

    January 18, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    I remember, years ago, when Alec Wek ( a very dark African model) appeared on the cover of a high fashion white magazine. It was reported that many were skeptical of putting her on the cover for fear of public rejection. Well they did. It was the best selling mag of that season. When black Vogue (black models only) was produced and sold in Europe, the price was $95. Who would pay $95 for any magazine? Yet, it had unprecedented sells. That’s why it’s not understandable why whites still have a problem putting a dark black face on the cover of high fashion magazines. Black faces don’t need to be made “acceptable”. They sell!

  17. M.M.Farrah

    January 19, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    Whose bossiness it is as long as the individual is happy with their Pic!

  18. Charity

    January 28, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    i am not sure what to think about this one…i have taken many pics and in some i am darker than others..i do not want to speculate on this…we could be wrong..but then again we could be wrong…either way..she is a beautiful black woman with a bright future ahead.

  19. Charity

    January 28, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    we could be wrong or we could be right.

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