Solange Knowles sat down with the Evening Standard for its ES magazine recently, but when the October issue came out, something was missing: her hair. Solange is featured on the cover, but the distinctive circular braid atop her head is not. Last week, she posted the original photo, braid intact, on her Instagram, along with the caption "dtmh @eveningstandardmagazine." (That's "don't touch my hair," also the name of a Solange song.) She went on to post a series of Instagram stories (as the BBC explains, these stories only last 24 hours, so they're no longer viewable) showing the part of the cover where the braids should have been, as well as portions of the interview in which she specifically discussed braiding, calling it an "act of beauty, an act of convenience and an act of tradition ... its own art form." The publication has since apologized.
"It is ... a matter of great regret that the finished cover artwork of the magazine caused concern and offense," says the Evening Standard in a statement. "The decision to amend the photograph was taken for layout purposes, but plainly we made the wrong call and we have offered our unreserved apologies to Solange." Knowles talked about the importance of a black woman's journey with her hair in the ES interview, recalling the time she spent in her mother's salon growing up: "I got to experience women arriving in one state of mind and leaving in a completely transformed way. It wasn't just about the hair. It was about the sisterhood and the storytelling." She even discussed her braids in the interview, blaming a missed meet with reporter Angelica Bastien on how long they took to do. The article then notes the braids are "visible in our shoot." Bastien has since publicly disowned the article. (Read more Solange Knowles stories.)