One of the stars of the movie “12 Years a Slave”, Lupita Nyong’o, had people in the audience shedding tears as she was accepting her award for best breakout performance. The ceremony was held by Essence magazine and is called Women in Hollywood. During her speech she said that when she was a little girl she wished that her skin was not so dark.
Nyong’o told a story of how she was teased to no end about how dark her skin was when she was a little girl. She said, “My one prayer to God was that I would wake up lighter skinned”. Every day that she woke up she would run to the mirror so that she could see her face first with her new light skin and every day she was disappointed that she was as dark as she had been yesterday. She tried pleading with God and even bargaining says that she would do things such as never losing her school sweater again or would stop eating the sugar cubes that she was so fond of.
Finally one day Nyong’o learned about a supermodel from Sudan named Alek Wek. She saw Wek with her almost midnight colored skin and realized that dark was amazingly beautiful. She finally started to believe in herself and believe that she was beautiful just the way that she was. She now wishes to inspire other young girls who may be thinking the things that she had though when she was a child.
It is sad when women feel that they need to change the color of their skin just to fit in or feel like they have a voice. No woman should have to bleach her skin so that she is lighter. She should have to pray to have a different complexion. She should be embraced as the beautiful person that she already is.