Lupita Nyong’o: “Beauty Should Not Be Dictated”


Lupita Nyong’o is not your average “it” girl. In fact, she’s not merely an “it” girl because that implies someone who is flavor of the month or someone who is just a passing fad. No, this Academy Award-winning actress is much, much more. She is the latest representation of young ethnic women who refuse to see boundaries in what they can achieve because of their skin color.

Ever since her breakout role of Patsy in ’12 Years a Slave’ which won her multiple awards this season, she has been on the cover of almost every recognizable magazine and has been a steady mainstay in the media. She gave a speech early in 2014 about the importance of female representatives from all corners of the globe, because if it wasn’t for Sudanese model Alek Wek or women like Oprah Winfrey, she says she never would’ve learned to be comfortable in her own skin.

Now that she has the platform and the world’s attention, it is her turn to be an advocate for diversity. Beauty brand Lancome just announced her as their latest ambassador, and she will start to appear in campaigns in the fall.

“When [Alek] came on the scene, I felt more seen,” said Lupita. “Having me on a huge campaign like this will hopefully do that for other girls or people who feel unseen or underseen.”

Lancome had this to say about their latest celebrity endorser: “She is an outstanding example of a natural beauty; confident and simply true to herself, she embraces life with freshness, citing happiness as the most attractive form of radiance.”

“Both talented and committed, true to her African beauty, and showing a great curiosity and open-mindedness in her career choices, Lupita is by essence the Lancôme woman,” said Françoise Lehmann, General Manager of Lancôme International.

Lupita’s thoughts on beauty are that it should be dictated or defined in any way by society, an industry or a group of people.

“What appealed to me about Lancôme is that they’re not dictating what beauty is,” she said. “What they do supports something that already is — and that was appealing to me, too,” she said in a statement about the deal.

“I had to give a speech about beauty right before the Oscars,” she continued, “and for me, beauty is a compassion for yourself and those around you. And I think that in focusing on that, the light inside illuminates the beauty outside. The idea that Lancôme now has a few actor ambassadors is significant because actors are not just faces, they are spirits that people enjoy and relate to more than in an aesthetic way. We have the privilege of standing for something other than just looks.”

There is no doubt Lupita is going to inspire a generation of not only young women from her home country Kenya, but women all around the world (no matter their skin color) showing them that anything is possible, and your appearance shouldn’t be a factor in how far you go in life.

Check out the video announcement below. Lupita joins fellow actresses Julia Roberts, Penélope Cruz, Kate Winslet and Lily Collins as celebrity ambassadors for the brand.


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