Lupita Nyong’o and her charismatic personality have broken through societies view on beauty and black women. Her Oscar win for Best Supporting Actress in Twelve Years a Slave, and covers on reputable magazine covers have left her countless of admirers. She is the beauty that Hollywood does not market, with her deep, dark chocolate skin colour and her short hair; she beats to a different drum of beauty.
When I was growing up, all the movies that I watched all seem to have a typical trend, the leading ladies were all white, tall, and long haired; even the cartoons followed the same trend! All my dolls were the same; there was nothing on the media that was a realistic representation of a proud, black woman. So when Lupita rose to fame and went against the grain of women that the world had become accustomed to, I cheered because now we could see an unappreciated form of beauty.
And the best part is that she possesses the perfect balance between beauty and brains; with a Masters from Yale, and several awards under her belt, Lupita displays a brilliant example that success is not equivalent to the way your hair looks or the colour of your skin but by the way you perceive yourself. One of her many famous quotes that spoke volumes to me, was at a luncheon for Black Women in Hollywood, “I hope that my presence on your screens and in the magazines may lead you, young girl, on a similar journey,” she said. “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.”
It’s so refreshing and encouraging to see someone who is not interested in the cultural norm of beauty and who is being celebrated and accepted for someone that she truly and unapologetically is.