Lupita Nyong’o Delivers Most Important Speech About Beauty In Years

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Even before Lupita Nyong’o won an Oscar for her role of Patsey in “12 Years a Slave” and wowed viewers across the country with her heartfelt acceptance, she had already delivered one of the most powerful speeches of the year.

At Essence magazine’s Black Women in Hollywood luncheon, Nyong’o accepted an honor for Best Breakthrough Performance and used her time onstage to talk about the importance of self-love and inner beauty.

Nyong’o opened the speech by sharing a letter she received from a fan, who wrote, “Dear Lupita, 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.”

Moving the audience to tears, the actress went on to explain her own struggle accepting her dark complexion, saying that she suffered through growing self-hate as she got “teased and taunted” about her “night-shaded skin.”

And then everything changed for Nyong’o when she saw Sundanese supermodel Alek Wek. Seeing this dark-skinned icon planted a seed in Nyong’o’s mind that eventually blossomed into her definition of true beauty:

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 does sustain us… 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.”

Nyong’o closed the speech by addressing her young fan whose letter allowed her to understand her role in the spotlight as an image of hope.

“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 in that beauty.” 

At Luminary Daily, we applaud Nyong’o for her courage, her perseverance, and for creating so much hope for people around the world. As our “Luminary of the Week,” Nyong’o has inspired all of us to honor our truest selves.

As she reminded us in her beautiful Oscar acceptance speech: “No matter where you are from, your dreams are valid.”


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This article is a result of team work! Luminary Daily is an Online Magazine and Media Channel designed to provide content with a positive view on news, facts and stories from all around the world for audiences who seek to be informed in an uplifting, meaningful, and deeper sense while avoiding a constant barrage of bad news and negative gossip.


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