On April 23rd, 2014, People magazine named Lupita Nyong’o, the Mexican-Kenyan actress Most Beautiful Woman of 2014. This news has created a lot of positive and negative buzz and reactions online. In Haiti, many women see her nomination as an offense to their own beauty, others believe that beauty is too relative to be appraised. I see Lupita’s nomination with very positive eyes.
This nomination was made to convey two messages to the world:
1- Beauty is not equated with long, luscious, straight hair and light skin anymore. So many black women are struggling with their self-image. They made so many changes to their hair, their skin color, their physical features that they’ve lost their identity. They’ve lost their self-esteem and self-love with it. Proclaiming Lupita, a dark-skinned woman with very short kinky natural hair as the MOST beautiful woman of 2014 debunks the myth that night shaded skin is ugly. One young woman confessed that she stopped bleaching her skin after Lupita’s nomination. Lupita’s words after her nomination say it all: “I was happy for all the girls who would see me on the cover and feel a little more seen.” Lupita started to look at herself with more positive eyes when she saw Alek Wek, a south sudanese fashion model on TV. No doubt, drawing the lights on dark-skinned women that don’t conform to a Caucasian aesthetic as beauty symbols is a positive upbringing for the black community.
2- Beauty is not just a face, it’s a package: brain plus heart plus physical features. Lupita is talentuous, educated, eloquent and authentic. Any ordinary girl can relate to her because she is hearted. This humanity and personality have been shown in her quotes: ” I feel most beautiful when I am content. That is for me more important than my physical presentation. “I would suggest laughter, the ability to forgive yourself and experience life as beauty advice”
I support People magazine’s choice in labeling Lupita Nyong’O Most Beautiful Woman of 2014 because this action is promoting a new way of judging beauty: YOU are beautiful although you are DIFFERENT and BEAUTY is more than just a FACE and a BODY, it’s also a BRAIN and a HEART.