The Year of Lupita™ keeps rolling on with our girl Lupita Nyong'o on the cover of Glamour magazine's 2014 Women Of The Year issue. It's hard to be surprised by the news considering that in 2014 alone, Nyong'o won an Oscar for her 12 Years a Slave performance, was crowned "World's Most Beautiful" by People magazine, became the face of Lancome, and was announced as joining the cast of the latest installment of Star Wars.
The Academy Award-winning actress opens up in detail with Glamour about redefining success, beauty and visibility. Nyong'o mentions that it was women like Oprah and Whoopi Goldberg who provided cultural touchstones for her in terms of representation, and hopes to "plant the same seed of possibility" in other young girls.
Lupita elaborates more on the so-called "Lupita effect", which has been said to influence everything from casting calls for fashion shows to pushing products off shelves:
"I've heard people talk about images in popular culture changing, and that makes me feel great, because it means that the little girl I was, once upon a time, has an image to instill in her that she is beautiful, that she is worthy—that she can."
This is especially important considering that we're constantly surrounded by negative messages from the media that can be damaging, something that even Nyong'o wasn't a stranger to. She mentions an anecdote from her formative years where a teacher made a comment about the color of her skin, and a commercial "Where a woman goes for an interview and doesn't get the job. Then she puts a cream on her face to lighten her skin, and she gets the job!"
Nyong'o goes even deeper, sharing:
"This is the message: that dark skin is unacceptable. I definitely wasn't hearing this from my immediate family—my mother never said anything to that effect—but the voices from the television are usually much louder than the voices of your parents."
Read more about Lupita Nyong'o and check out the rest of Glamour's “2014 Women Who Dare” issue at glamour.com!