Why Lupita Nyong’o campaigned for women to be allowed to wear make-up

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Susan Devaney
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Actress Lupita Nyong’o has revealed why she petitioned for girls to be able to wear make-up while at school. 

Long before Lupita Nyong’o was an award-winning and celebrated actress she was championing women’s rights while still at high school.

During her time in education, Nyong’o who attended an all-boys school, found there to be particularly archaic rules for the handful of female students who attended.

“At one point, there was an archaic rule that said that girls could not wear make-up to school. I was angry that the powers that be were trying to basically oppress and control the small female population. It infuriated me to the point that I started a petition,” Nyong’o told InStyle.

Nyong’o started a petition even though she had no interest in wearing make-up herself.

“I said to myself, ‘Look, if a woman wants to wear make-up to school to feel confident in an environment where she’s a minority, why not? It doesn’t actually change whether or not she’s able to take in the information being given to her in the classroom,’” she recalled of her tenure at St Mary’s School in Nairobi, Kenya.

Now a fan of wearing make-up, the Black Panther star made history when she came the first black ambassador for beauty brand Lancôme in 2014.

However, Nyong’o stressed that wearing make-up is for enjoyment – not because it makes her feel pretty.

“It’s something that I enjoy. It’s not the thing I rely on to feel beautiful, and I hope that a lot of women feel the same,” Nyong’o explained.

To wear make-up or not to wear make-up? It’s a woman’s choice.

Images: Rex Features / Instagram