There she is, Miss Africa (yes, the whole continent), Miss Worls, Miss Everything.
The intelligent, beautiful and talented Lupita Nyong’o has just been named People has named the actress and documentary film maker 2014’s Most Beautiful. We can certainly understand what they see in her!
Congratulations to Ms. Nyong’o for not only taking the world by storm, but being so poised, intelligent and inspiring along the way. This honor says a lot about our acceptance of and comfort with dark-skinned beauty, despite everything around us: the constant onslaught of images reinforcing some people’s preferences for light-skinned beauty, and even a self-loathing so profound that skin lightening and bleaching is so rampant in Africa and the Caribbean.
Africa has been making strides for some years now in the areas of economic resurgence and cultural influence. We’ve had many heroes emerge from that vast and fascinating continent, and Lupita is just the latest in a long line of authors, activists, musicians, economists … the list goes on … who have impressed us and shaped our world. Now Hollywood has its own piece of Africa, and I’m glad she is being treasured.
The nasty, treasonous folks at Black gossip blogs gleefully rub their hands together at the prospect of Lupita’s career faltering once America’s dark-skin fetish fades away. But that will not happen. Sorry. As this worldly woman, who also claims Mexican citizenship, is too special and inspiring to fall into the background.
I usually skip People magazine, the forebear of the degradation of popular American journalism. We certainly have them to thank for the mind-killing gossip rags flooding the newsstands today and keeping the awful Kardashians relevant. But a stopped clock is right twice a day, the saying goes. And they had the sense to catch Lupita right on time.