RaceSex & Gender

Lupita Nyong’o broke the mold with her unapologetic dark-skinned, smart, kinky-haired self

March 1, 2018
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Born in Mexico City 35 years ago today, Lupita Nyong’o is one of the most interesting and groundbreaking actresses around today. Without knowing Lupita personally, one of the reasons why she connects so deeply with audiences, outside of her riveting performances, is her authenticity. Not one to shy away from the complicated experiences she has a multi-national, multi-lingual person of the diaspora, Nyong’o has been an outspoke proponent for self-love and self-acceptance.

“I remember a time when I too felt unbeautiful. I put on the TV and only saw pale skin, I got teased and taunted about my night-shaded skin. And my one prayer to God, the miracle worker, was that I would wake up lighter-skinned,” the dark-skinned beauty said during the acceptance speech for Best Actress at the 2014 Academy Awards. “My complexion had always been an obstacle to overcome and all of a sudden Oprah was telling me it wasn’t.”

“What is fundamentally beautiful is compassion for yourself and for those around you,” Nyong’o later realized. “That kind of beauty enflames the heart and enchants the soul,” she continued. “I hope that my presence on your screens and in the magazines may lead you, young girl, on a similar journey,” Nyong’o said, in closing. “That you will feel the validation of your external beauty but also get to the deeper business of being beautiful inside. There is no shade to that beauty.”

IN addition to choosing to be a voice that calls out colorism in the industry, Lupita is penning a children’s book on the subject, Nyong’o’s commitment to making a substantive change in the way black women view and treat themselves. Which makes us love her even more.

Happy 35th Birthday, Lupita!

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