Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Lupita Nyong'o's moving ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood speech

rexfeatures-3607090ad.jpg
rexfeatures-3607419d.jpg

While you might think Lupita Nyong'o was the talk of the Oscars weekend for winning Best Supporting Actress, it wasn't. Three days before at the Essence's Black Women in Hollywood luncheon, she gave a speech that put her audience in tears, went viral and stunned the world.

We select some of the most poignant lines from this speech:

"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."

"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 was the day before."

My mother reminded me often that she thought that I was beautiful but that was no conservation, she’s my mother, of course she’s supposed to think I am beautiful. And then … Alek Wek. 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....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.

Watch her full speech below:

Related

476194077-hero.jpg

Lupita Nyong'o arrives at the 2014 Oscars

herolupita.jpg

The evolution of Lupita Nyong'o's style

hero.jpg

Infographic of history’s greatest female adventurers

hero.jpg

Our favourite powerful women share their wisdom on careers

lena.jpg

Life lessons and pearls of wisdom from Lena Dunham

jk-rowling.jpg

Life according to JK Rowling

Comments

More

Acne could hold the key to youthful looks, says study

And not because it makes you look like a teenager. by Moya Crockett

28 Sep 2016

These are the most popular beauty products bought every weekend

From face wipes to nail polish by Sarah Biddlecombe

28 Sep 2016

The Stylist wedding blog: last minute beauty prep

Including a golden piece of advice for glowing skin by Natasha Tomalin

27 Sep 2016

Artist uses real plants to create beautiful botanical tattoos

The ultimate floral tribute tattoo by Sarah Biddlecombe

27 Sep 2016

Cate Blanchett reveals her beauty essentials

From her favourite dry shampoo to her must-have mascara by Sarah Biddlecombe

23 Sep 2016

This is the most popular nail polish shade on Pinterest

And best of all, it's cheap as chips

22 Sep 2016

The most popular beauty products of the year so far

From lipsticks to eyebrow palettes, these products have been flying off the shelves by Sarah Biddlecombe

16 Sep 2016

How to hide under-eye circles and puffiness

The ultimate beauty products to have in your arsenal by Sarah Biddlecombe

15 Sep 2016

The Pros Know: how to do a chip-free manicure at home

Beautiful nails have never been so easy by Sarah Biddlecombe

07 Sep 2016

Watch: the Stylist beauty team answer your most pressing questions

All your beauty dilemmas, solved by Sarah Biddlecombe

07 Sep 2016