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Solange to Evening Standard Magazine: “Don’t Touch My Hair”

Solange appears on the cover of the latest issue of Evening Standard Magazine, part of the U.K. paper the London Evening Standard. The magazine’s photoshoot features Solange with her hair bleached, braided, and arranged in a elegant, halo-like circle over her head. In an accompanying interview, Solange discussed the significance hair braiding holds for black women, calling it an “art form,” and “act of beauty, an act of convenience and an act of tradition.”

The print cover of the magazine, however, pictures Solange sans halo. Yesterday, she responded to the change by posting an unedited shot to Instagram. She captioned the photo “dtmh,” as in “Don’t Touch My Hair”—her song about pride, respect, and black hair, which itself is referenced in ES Magazine’s story.

dtmh @eveningstandardmagazine

A post shared by Solange (@saintrecords) on

Her brilliant third album was both a critical and commercial success, but Solange is as focused on art as she is on music. @saintrecords talks about the influence of her mother, retaining control and where she’s going next… PLUS: A non-stop 24 hours in the @claridgeshotel kitchen, Extreme makeover: the #JEREMYCORBYN edition, @gracedent eats at @CorebyClareSmyth, we take an #ESescape to the Isle of #Eriska AND @anthony_joshua ‘s #MYLONDON #ESmagazine x #Solange Photographers: @elliott.jerome + @dritch Stylist: @mindy_le_brock Hairstylist: @jogoeswest + @vernonfrancois

A post shared by Evening Standard Magazine (@eveningstandardmagazine) on

One of the photographers on the shoot, Daria Kobayashi Ritch, posted her own response. “So incredibly honored that I got to photograph [Solange] for the cover of [Evening Standard],” Ritch wrote beneath an image of the edited cover. “I am also saddened that they chose to alter the image by removing such a powerful aspect of it.”

This is a bad look for ES Magazine, but it doesn’t appear to be the only problem with this Solange story. On Twitter, journalist Angelica Bastien said she conducted the interview with Solange, but “publicly [disowned]” the resulting feature. “The entire piece was a fiasco,” she wrote, saying Evening Standard editors “distorted [her] work” and she refused to be credited for it.

Evening Standard Magazine has not yet offered a public response to the controversy. You can read the digital version of the disputed story, which doesn’t include the altered photo of Solange, here.

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