Kenyan starlet, Lupita Amondi Nyong’o, 31, graced the October issue of Vogue(US), and she spilled on how she is redefining beauty.
This is her third time covering the esteemed fashion and lifestyle publication.
Ms Nyong’o strutted through 66 red carpets in the six months leading to the 2014 Oscars and was called People’s Most Beautiful Person. Still, she had a hurdle to scale through due to her black skin
Shortly after her Oscar win, a talent agent named Tracy Christian felt Lupita would have a better shot at superstardom if she was lighter-skinned (drawing comparison to Beyonce’s skin tone), saying more people can look at her and see themselves in her or landed a franchise with Star Wars or Bourne Identity – barely two months later, Lupita was cast in JJ Abrams, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Still, Lupita felt it was wrong to be subjected to just a “cultural tapestry”. She said:
I have to deafen my ears to that Christian lady. She is looking at me as part of the cultural tapestry. I am living and breathing. That person is not considering what I had for breakfast, how that is sitting in my stomach, and why I didn’t do well with that audition. I can’t think like that. I cannot run away from who I am and my complexion or the larger society and how they may view that. I realize that with what I shared at the Essence awards.
In 2014, Lupita was honored at the Essence Black Women In Hollywood event. During her speech, she talked about how she saw beauty from within and not from without. She said her mother made her understand, that beauty wasn’t something one consumed or acquired, it was something one had to “be”.
Lupita Nyong’o said:
You can’t rely on how you look to sustain you. What actually sustains us – what is fundamentally beautiful is compassion, for yourself and for those around you. That kind of beauty inflames the heart and enchants the soul. Feel the validation of your external beauty but also get to the business of being beautiful inside, there is no shade in that.
Watch Lupita Nyongo’s speech on Essence, published by jaxprats in May 2014 – (article continues after the cut)
Lupita Nyongo’o, An Enigma To Reckon With
Lupita Nyongo’o forced the world to reckon with her enigma after winning an Oscars for her performance in 12 years a slave in 2014.
Since then, she has featured in stories focused on the role and power of black women, such as her stage performance in Eclipsed on Broadway – where she played the character of a teenage wife to a commander; the movie Queen of Katwe – she acted as the mother to a chess genius; and the adaptation of Chimamanda Adichie’s Americannah – where she portrayed the role of a black blogger writing about racism.
The Kenyan star also helps charitable causes in her home-country, such as, saving elephants from poaching and reducing the death of mothers during childbirth. She has lent support in a light project for girls begun by Salima Visram, who lived in a poor village with no electricity near Mombasa.
According to Elizabeth Rubin for Vogue:
Visram designed a backpack for children fitted with a solar panel that is connected to a battery pack. As the children take the long walk to school, their battery is charged, and at night, after chores, the battery can power an LED lamp and they can study.
Lupita Nyong’o intends to chart her own course through life and have fun doing what she loves which is to tell compelling African stories.
Read her full disclosure HERE.
Look through Lupita Nyongo’s photographs below.
Photo credit, Vogue