Lupita Nyoung’o Makes Dark Skin In!

DuJour-Magazine-Lupita-Nyongo-December-2013-Cover-BellaNaija-December-2013005wait a minute.
hold on.
just one more second.
i had to stan for lupita nyoung’o real quick.
lupita nyoung’o is making moves and i’m not even mad.
i’m here for her movement.
she was honored at 7th annual black women in hollywood luncheon recently.
she won best breakthrough performance for her role in 12 years a slave.
she was presented the award by alfre woodard.
lupita’s speech tho>>>>>
please read what she had to say…

I wrote down this speech that I had no time to practice so this will be the practicing session. Thank you Alfre, for such an amazing, amazing introduction and celebration of my work. And thank you very much for inviting me to be a part of such an extraordinary community. I am surrounded by people who have inspired me, women in particular whose presence on screen made me feel a little more seen and heard and understood. That it is ESSENCE that holds this event celebrating our professional gains of the year is significant, a beauty magazine that recognizes the beauty that we not just possess but also produce.

I want to take this opportunity to talk about beauty. Black beauty. Dark beauty. 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.

6a00d83451b8c369e20133f1e56efa970b-800wiI STAN FOR YOU LUPITA!!!!!!!!
i love love love love LOVE this woman.
i say it all the time and i’ll say it again,
i love how she speaks and carries herself.
i reallllllllly want to meet her.
so much so,
i think i would cry.
who would have thought she would think she wasn’t beautiful?
even with her dark skin,
she absolutely glows.
like that inside and out shine you can’t get from jergens.
whatever complexion you are,
lupita is a total inspiration to us all!

speech taken from: essence
photo from:

Author: jamari fox

the fox invited to the blogging table.

13 thoughts on “Lupita Nyoung’o Makes Dark Skin In!”

  1. I know exactly how she felt about wanting to be light skin tho I didn’t want to be super light, just more a brighter brown because growing up as a dark skin Puerto Rican it’s hard as fuck, but now I love my brown skin and glad that I am dark skin. But you know what Lupita, Tika Sumpter, Gavin Houston, and Lance Gross are smokin hot chocolates I ever saw and I am sorry for saying chocolate, but their skin complexion are so creamy and beautiful like chocolate.

  2. I am sorry, but it must be said, and I know that this will probably offend my Caucasian Brothers and Sisters, but we, us African-Americans, us people of color, have everlasting skin that can withstand the test of time. We age gracefully, HELL, some of us don’t even look the age that defines us. Black is and will forever be beautiful. Our black women are radiant, and it just goes without saying for our Chocolate Soldiers. With all due respect to every other race and ethnicity on the face of God’s creation, I can only speak for myself when I say, “THE ESSENCE OF BLACK BEAUTY IS ETERNAL.” 😀

      1. That’s kinda true I have seen some unhealthy and sick afromercian that looked a boot and not a LV boot. And a friend auntie was a functioning drughead who was fabulous and still is.

  3. I’m sorry but Lupita is starting to on my nerves.Like Jennifer Lawrence, they’re running her into the ground.Beautiful speech but she’s getting a little too overexposed.

  4. Jamari, it’s clear that African Americans and black people world wide have been fed a steady diet of white racism for–in the US–350 years of slavery and 100 years of Jim Crow and continuing. What is that diet? Well, part of it says that white/European beauty is the standard–stringy hair, pale skin, pointy noses and thin lips. Accordingly, strong hair/tightly coiled hair/nappy hair, dark skin, broad noses and full lips–which is what African Americans and other black people tend to have world wide is inferior! And the features are given extra “good” names. For example, their stringy hair is called “silky” and their pale skin is called “fair” and their pointy noses are sometimes called “aquiline”. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what’s going on. In fact we swim in a river of white racism morning, noon and night in the culture and media of America–newspapers, Internet, radio, TV, etc.

    No wonder we have African Americans calling each other the N word so taking part in their own denigration and oppression. We have African Americans making fun of someone who has tightly coiled/strong/nappy hair! We have African Americans making fun of and denigrating someone who has dark skin! We have making fun of and denigrating someone who has a broad nose. (“His nose is so wide!”) And we have African Americans making fun of and denigrating someone who has full lips. (“His lips are so big!”) White is the standard. Deviate from that standard and you are worth less. (Or is it “worthless” a la Trayvon Martin, Emmitt Till and countless others?)

    No wonder the richer the African American man, the more likely he is to date and marry other than a black (African American or otherwise) woman. After all, he’s rich. He can afford the best house, the best car, the best wine and he naturally wants the best woman to go along with that (and as added benefit produce “better” (read less black, less African) children) and such a woman doesn’t have nappy hair, thick lips, dark skin and a wide nose. That woman is ugly. No, such a woman is “beautiful” and has silky hair, thinner lips, fair skin and an aquiline/European nose. So sick, so self-hating and so racist!

    I saw on Bill Moyer’s TV show today this: (I suggest that you watch it.) It explained how “dog whistle” politics have been played in the USA over the past 50 years to make African Americans and other minorities the whipping boys and scape-goats. In listening to it, I was reminded how one African American man I was talking with in this past year bought such racist “dog-whistle” BS whole hog. I told him that African Americans are in jail in large part because the Penal-Industrial Complex/the criminal justice system is tilted against them at every level from arrest to charging to conviction to sentencing to probation and parole. And I told him of my suggestions of how government could and should put African American men to work. His answer was that “Since it is the case that the criminal justice system is tilted against them, “they” should not commit crimes!” And he complained that “they” were always on the street and not looking for work and not interested in looking for work when he visited his mother. So he wasn’t interested in helping “them” find work. What an idiot! Trayvon Martin wasn’t committing a crime, nor was Jordan Davis. And the idiot apparently didn’t understand that if “they” are working then “they” will be less likely to criminally victimize his mother through theft, robbery or otherwise and that the best social program there is is a job. I say all of this to remind you that due to powerful forces of media and culture we have bought into the European standard of beauty racist BS and we have bought in to the “dog-whistle” stereotypes about African/African Americans/blacks! What a shame!

  5. I can some what understand what she was saying I never had any hate for my skin or kinky hair, however my people sure did. I was bullied by black people about my hair and dark skin more then being gay or overweight. It was intriguing to get talked down to by black females. They talked down about my hair the most and i can tell they hated their own hair with the weaves and perm that looked non black. I remember one girl said ” i would never have his children they would be dark and nappy headed.” as if thats a bad thing.My mother and one of her brothers always told “your handsome, your just as good and beautiful as your light skin siblings.” I also know my father was happy to have a child that looks like him. Once MySpace and Facebook came out a few of my own black friends said ” wow you your sister and brother look so much alike, but they pretty cause they lightskin.” bitch really? It’s sad how no one hates black people more then black people I got more love on my hair from white women ( if they wasn’t being funny and tossing shade) ” your hair so big may I touch it? So soft pretty I want to go to sleep in it. It does seem like its changing more women going natural and uplifting black beauty.

  6. I am dark-skinned. I was darker than both my parents. My older brother came out light brown with sandy hair.

    My maternal grandfather was light skinned with tawny eyes but married a dark-skinned woman, who was gorgeous until the day she died at 95.

    When my mother brought me to her parents as a baby my grandfather said, “Where did y’all get that black baby from.” My mother said she was so upset she cussed out her own father.

    But it’s funny my grandmother later told me my grandfather carried me around everywhere with him and before he died would whisper to me, “I’ll always be near you ” and I swear I feel his presence still.

    This just demonstrates how fucked up and conflicted blacks are about color, even within our own families.

    Growing up I was teased for being dark. If I got into any argument that was the first insult used, liked it automatically trumped I was an honor roll student, never got into trouble, and was tall and slender and broad shouldered.

    But what goes around. People today tell me I’m handsome and you can read my blog and tell I get no shortage of ass. I go to my class reunions and folks say, “Wow, you look so young.”

    Black people I think are beautiful period. Light. Brown, Dark or speckled. We need to uplift and love each more. And ZEN BUDDHA your comments are off base. I am tired of the Kardashians and Britney Spears being crammed down my throat by the media.

    It’s about time the media was oversaturated with a beautiful and classy woman such as Lupita. May he career be long and fruitful.

  7. I wanted to cry like that Chris Brown gif after reading this speech. I haven’t seen 12 years a slave, (I’m not a big movie person), but I going to now.

If you wouldn't say it on live TV with all your family and friends watching, without getting canceled or locked up, don't say it on here. Stay on topic, no SPAM, and keep it respectful. Thanks!

%d bloggers like this: