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KonkNaija Media | May 2, 2016

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Lupita Nyong’o Revealed as People Magazine’s Most Beautiful Cover Girl [@Lupita_Nyongo]

Lupita Nyong’o Revealed as People Magazine’s Most Beautiful Cover Girl [@Lupita_Nyongo]

| On 24, Apr 2014

Oh Lupita, you never cease to take our breath away.

“No matter where your’re from, your dreams are valid” said Lupita Nyong’o on the night she won an Academy Award in March for her role as Patsey in 12 Years a Slave.

The Kenyan actress is People Magazine‘s Most Beautiful Woman in the World. It is an honour which has been bestowed upon Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, Drew Barrymore (who welcomed second daughter yesterday) and Julia Roberts.

Lupita may have made that famous speech at the oscars, but she reveals she “never dreamed” of being called world’s most beautiful.

It was exciting and just a major, major compliment,” the 31-year-old says of gracing the cover. “I was happy for all the girls who would see me on [it] and feel a little more seen.”

Lupita says she first called beauty with what she saw on TV; “Light skin and long, flowing, straight hair. Subconsciously you start to appreciate those things more than what you possess.”

Her mother Dorothy “always said I was beautiful,” she shares. “And I finally believed her at some point.”

People Magazine‘s annual “50 Most Beautiful” issue is hitting the newsstands and it is revealed that Hollywood’s newest “it” girl, Lupita Nyong’o, will grace the cover. This is certainly the year of Nyong’o, who has been riding a wave of Tinseltown accolades since clinching the Academy Award for best supporting actress back in February. Since bringing attention for her role as the headstrong field slave Patsy, who was the object of her master’s lust in director Steve McQueen’s Oscar-winning Best picture 12 Years a Slave, Nyong’o has most recently starred opposite Liam Neeson and Julianne Moore in the action-thriller Non-Stop.

The 31-year-old Kenyan, who was born in Mexico, has been receiving attention for her beauty as well as her acting. The stylish starlet has become quite the fashion icon and has landed on numerous best dressed lists at red carpet appearances with clothing designers like Prada and Tom Ford all clamoring for her to wear their designs. Nyong’o has also graced countless magazine covers and the “coco-complexioned ” beauty has most recently signed a lucrative endorsement deal with the cosmetics company Lancome.

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Being tapped as People Magazine‘s newest Cover Girl, beating out other beauties like Jennifer Lawrence and the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton for the top spot, reveals and further marks Nyong’o’s undeniable poise and presence and continues to push  the changing tides surrounding western culture and its standards that dictate what and who is considered beautiful. The stunning actress, while delighted with the honor, confesses she has never been secure with her looks as a young girl growing up, having never seen images in the media that she could identify with. The Oscar winner, who received her education at Hampshire College and later earned a master’s degree at the Yale School of Drama, says that she never would have imagined the amount of attention she is now receiving, and expressed her excitement at such major compliments.  On being People’s newest cover girl, Nyong’o says she is especially happy in how her presence will make other young girls who have felt invisible now feel a bit more seen.

Nyong’o recently said in an eloquent and heart-felt speech at the Essence Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon that the pride she now feels in her chocolate-toned skin was never actualized growing up until she saw South Sudanese Alek Wek get catapulted to super-model stardom. It was then that she truly believed that she too could be considered beautiful.

The special People Magazine 50 Most Beautiful People issue which hits news stands this Friday has been a staple for the publication since the early 1990′s, and has featured other Hollywood starlets in the past like Julia Roberts, Halle Berry, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Beyonce. Among those making the 2014 list are Scandal star Kerry Washington, star of  The Mindy Project Mindy Kaling, Gabrielle Union from BET’s Being Mary Jane, pop/rock singer Pink, super-model Molly Sims, and Stacey Keibler, former girlfriend of People Magazine‘s sexiest man alive George Clooney. Also making the list are Kerri Russell, Amber Heard, and Jenna Tewan-Tatum,  all women, just like Nyong’o, demonstrating beauty in their own respective ways both inside and out.

By Hal Banfield (Liberty Voice)

Sources: ,,

Oscar Winner Lupita Nyong’o's Speech On Beauty That Left An Entire Audience Speechless

Read Transcript of Speech Below:

I received a letter from a girl and I’d like to share just a small part of it with you: “Dear Lupita,” it reads, “I think you’re really lucky to be this Black but yet this successful in Hollywood overnight. I was just about to buy Dencia’s Whitenicious cream to lighten my skin when you appeared on the world map and saved me.”

My heart bled a little when I read those words. I could never have guessed that my first job out of school would be so powerful in and of itself and that it would propel me to be such an image of hope in the same way that the women of The Color Purple were to me.

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 morning would come and I would be so excited about seeing my new skin that I would refuse to look down at myself until I was in front of a mirror because I wanted to see my fair face first. And every day I experienced the same disappointment of being just as dark as I had been the day before. I tried to negotiate with God: I told him I would stop stealing sugar cubes at night if he gave me what I wanted; I would listen to my mother’s every word and never lose my school sweater again if he just made me a little lighter. But I guess God was unimpressed with my bargaining chips because He never listened.

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 consolation: She’s my mother, of course she’s supposed to think I am beautiful. And then Alek Wek came on the international scene. 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. I couldn’t believe that people were embracing a woman who looked so much like me as beautiful. My complexion had always been an obstacle to overcome and all of a sudden, Oprah was telling me it wasn’t. It was perplexing and I wanted to reject it because I had begun to enjoy the seduction of inadequacy. But a flower couldn’t help but bloom inside of me. When I saw Alek I inadvertently saw a reflection of myself that I could not deny. Now, I had a spring in my step because I felt more seen, more appreciated by the far away gatekeepers of beauty, but around me the preference for light skin prevailed. To the beholders that I thought mattered, I was still unbeautiful. And my mother again would say to me, “You can’t eat beauty. It doesn’t feed you.” And these words plagued and bothered me; I didn’t really understand them until finally I realized that beauty was not a thing that I could acquire or consume, it was something that I just had to be.

And what my mother meant when she said you can’t eat beauty was that you can’t rely on how you look to sustain you. What is fundamentally beautiful is compassion for yourself and for those around you. That kind of beauty enflames the heart and enchants the soul. It is what got Patsey in so much trouble with her master, but it is also what has kept her story alive to this day. We remember the beauty of her spirit even after the beauty of her body has faded away.

And so I hope that my presence on your screens and in the magazines may lead you, young girl, on a similar journey. 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.

There may be small errors in this transcript.
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