Lupita Nyong’o’s slay and overall impact on how brown girl beauty is viewed in Hollywood is undeniable and quite clear in her third cover for Vogue October 2016. After checking the glossy for comparing her Met Gala hair to Audrey Hepburn, the Oscar winner stuns on the cover in a celebration of Afro-centricity, rocking an embroidered and printed floral cap sleeved gown and head wrap. Even more, the entire spread is shot in her home country of Kenya as a backdrop, with her draped in several glorious head wraps and printed and patterned dresses.
Inside, Lupita shares her mission to “create more opportunities for people of color” and how she has learned to define and celebrate her dark skin and textured hair and using her celebrity for change.
“There is no point in getting your picture taken if it doesn’t move somebody,” she said.
On how society affects our perception of blackness:
I cannot run away from who I am and my complexion or the larger society and how they may view that. The European sense of beauty affects us all. I came home from college in the early 2000s and saw ads on TV with a girl who can’t get a job. She uses this product. She gets her skin lighter. She gets the job. The lording of lighter skin is a common thing growing up in Nairobi. Being called ‘black mamba.’ The slow burn of recognizing something else is better than you.
On how having representation can change that perception:
“[Model] Alek Wek changed how dark people saw themselves. That I could do the same in a way for somebody somewhere is amazing.”
And now it is Lupita is doing the same. In the interview, she said a young Ugandan-British woman told her, “I’ve never had so many people call me beautiful until you showed up. I get called to auditions I never would have been called to before. And I know it’s because you exist.”
Powerful. Keep clicking for more images from the gorgeous spread.