Lupita Nyong’o was awarded Best Breakthrough Performance for her work in 12 Years a Slave at February’s Essence Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon. Her acceptance speech brought a tear to my eye and to Lupita’s by the looks of things.
Lupita shares snippets of a letter from a young girl who had been thinking of lightening her skin with cream until Lupita hit the screens and magazines. The girl said Lupita saved her.
Lupita goes on to tell about her own struggle with being dark skinned. She talks about praying to god to lighten her skin. Despite her mother telling her that she was beautiful Lupita didn’t believe her because all the faces she saw on the TV were much lighter than her.
And when I was a teenager my self-hate grew worse, as you can imagine happens with adolescence. My mother reminded me often that she thought that I was beautiful but that was no conservation, she’s my mother, of course she’s supposed to think I am beautiful. And then … Alek Wek. A celebrated model, she was dark as night, she was on all of the runways and in every magazine and everyone was talking about how beautiful she was. Even Oprah called her beautiful and that made it a fact.
Get your tissues and watch the complete speech.
We love you Lupita!