Lupita Nyongo gave one of the most powerful speeches about beauty at the Black Women in Hollywood luncheon, a few days before she cinched the award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role at the 2014 Academy Awards.
In her speech Lupita said, "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 had been the day before."
Watch the video below:
Her words resonated strongly with today's women who feel they don't measure up to conventional standards of beauty. Yes, many of us have struggled with what we consider our own imperfections; it could be the shade of our skin, texture of hair, our facial features, height or physical disabilities. But what Lupita said is crucial: we need to support and celebrate different types of beauty, not just for the sake of how others perceive us but for how we perceive ourselves.
Lupita said, "And so I hope that my presence on your screens and in the magazines may lead you, young girl, on a similar journey. That you will feel the validation of your external beauty but also get to the deeper business of being beautiful inside. There is no shade to that beauty."
Aging today is a choice," says Dr. Rey. By focussing on preventative measures, like wearing sunscreen, "You'll age only if you want to…"