Lupita Nyong'o Uses Platform To Address Race, Beauty

The "12 Years A Slave" star spoke on skin color and skin bleaching during a speech before her big Oscar win.

Lupita Nyong'o Uses Platform To Address Race, Beauty

Everyone seems enamored with "12 Years A Slave" star Lupita Nyong’o.

She won an Academy Award for best supporting actress and she’s been getting a lot of love from the hollywood elite.

In addition to Nyong’o’s recent success, people are also talking about her bold statements on redefining beauty.

“Having come to the United States was the first time that I had to consider myself as being black… When I saw Whoopi Goldberg and she looked like me and I was like oh I can do this.” (Via Vogue)

Nyong’o’s presence has drawn praise from commentators. Jezebel’s Dodai Stewart says It’s actually extremely vital that we see Lupita Nyong’o — and faces like hers — as often as possible... Her face everywhere helps us, as a society, on our journey as we come to terms with recognizing and embracing non-Caucasian beauty.” (Via Jezebel)

Dubbed a “global fashion icon” by the media, Nyong’o continually addresses issues of beauty that are present globally. One such issue, which is featured in the recent “Dark Girls” Documentary, is skin bleaching.

“I can remember being in the bathtub asking my mom to put bleach in the water so that my skin would be lighter. This is not just a U.S. phenomenon.”

Nigerian pop star Dencia’s Whitenicious is one of many popular skin whitening creams. The BBC reports that the trend of using skin whitening cream is not new and continues to grow in popularity. (Via Daily Mail)

During a recent speech before her big win, Nyong'o tearfully read a letter she received from a young girl who struggled with finding beauty in her own dark brown skin.

“I think you are really lucky to be this black but yet this successful in Hollywood overnight. I was just about to buy Dencia’s Whitenicious cream to whiten my skin when you appeared on the world map and saved me.” (Via Essence)

Time’s Lily Rothman says this is a prime example of why everyone loves Nyong’o. “Personal anecdotes like the one Nyong’o related remind us that it does matter to viewers that they see themselves represented in the media. After all, if it takes a celebrity to make someone like her feel pretty, imagine what it means to those who aren’t destined for style icon status.” (Via TIME)

So whats next for the up and coming star? Although she hasn’t announced any new lead character projects, she does appear in the new film “Non-Stop” starring Liam Neeson.