How much more explicit could Solange Knowles be? The Grammy Award-winning singer recently graced the cover of the Evening Standard Magazine. She looks luminous and regal, with large pearl earrings and a bold, asymmetric white top.
The problem? The Evening Standard cut out her hair.
Knowles posted the original photo on her Instagram account Thursday morning with the caption “dtmh”—a nod to her song “Don’t Touch My Hair.” She also tagged the Evening Standard.
Here is the Evening Standard’s version:
The choice to retouch her hair was particularly egregious, considering what Knowles actually told the Evening Standard in the article, HuffPost reports.
The singer posted screenshots on her Instagram Stories of a few choice excerpts from the article, including one section about the significance of hair to her development as a woman and artist.
Braiding is important to Knowles. It is an ‘act of beauty, an act of convenience and an act of tradition’—it is ‘its own art form,’ she adds. Every black woman has a personal journey with her own hair, and for Knowles it began in her mother’s salon which was a refuge—‘a spare bedroom to speak’—for her as a young girl. Growing up there was pivotal. ‘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. Being a young girl who was really active in dance, theatre and on the swim team, the salon was kind of a safe haven.’
Now, you could make the argument that the team behind the photo may have had no idea what the contents of the actual article were. To which I would say: She wrote a whole-ass song about hair and its emotional and spiritual importance to black women.
The particular hairstyle Knowles wore for the Evening Standard photoshoot has special significance to her. As HuffPost notes, Knowles’ crown signifies Orion, the constellation that inspired the name of her performance series, Orion’s Rise, and with which she feels spiritual alignment.
“I had some revelations, in terms of my parents finding out they conceived me in Egypt after visiting the Giza pyramids, and connecting to that and the constellation of Orion that aligns with Giza,” Knowles told the Evening Standard.
Earlier that day, one of the writers who contributed to the piece, Angelica Jade Bastien, publicly disavowed the article.
“I told my editors to take my name off of the byline because they distorted my work and reporting in ways that made me very uncomfortable,” Bastien wrote in a Twitter thread. “Which was heartbreaking given how much work I put into it and my interest in Solange as an artist.”
Knowles posted a few more photos of her Orion crown Friday morning on her Instagram account. The artist is performing two shows, Friday night and Sunday, at the Greek Theater in Berkeley, Calif., this weekend.