Archive for the ‘BREAKING THE WHITE GIRL STANDARD OF BEAUTIFUL GLASS CEILING FOREVER’ Category
Lupita Nyong’o Delivers Moving Speech About How She Learned To Love The Color Of Her Skin
The Oscar nominated actress spoke candidly in her Black Women in Hollywood acceptance speech about her struggle to understand her own beauty.
posted on February 28, 2014 at 12:58
Yesterday, Lupita Nyong’o won the Essence Magazine Black Women In Hollywood Breakthrough Performance Award.
And while she has fast become one of the most idolized women on the red carpet in years…Lupita told the audience that she has not always felt that comfortable with the color of her skin.
Here is the full transcript of her beautifully honest speech.
￼I wrote down this speech that I had no time to practice so this will be the practicing session. Thank you Alfre, for such an amazing, amazing introduction and celebration of my work. And thank you very much for inviting me to be a part of such an extraordinary community. I am surrounded by people who have inspired me, women in particular whose presence on screen made me feel a little more seen and heard and understood. That it is ESSENCE that holds this event celebrating our professional gains of the year is significant, a beauty magazine that recognizes the beauty that we not just possess but also produce.
I want to take this opportunity to talk about beauty, Black beauty, dark beauty. I received a letter from a girl and I’d like to share just a small part of it with you: “Dear Lupita,” it reads, “I think you’re really lucky to be this Black but yet this successful in Hollywood overnight. I was just about to buy Dencia’s Whitenicious cream to lighten my skin when you appeared on the world map and saved me.”
My heart bled a little when I read those words, I could never have guessed that my first job out of school would be so powerful in and of itself and that it would propel me to be such an image of hope in the same way that the women of The Color Purple were to me.
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 was the day before. I tried to negotiate with God, I told him I would stop stealing sugar cubes at night if he gave me what I wanted, I would listen to my mother’s every word and never lose my school sweater again if he just made me a little lighter. But I guess God was unimpressed with my bargaining chips because He never listened.
And when I was a teenager my self-hate grew worse, as you can imagine happens with adolescence. My mother reminded me often that she thought that I was beautiful but that was no conservation, she’s my mother, of course she’s supposed to think I am beautiful. And then Alek Wek came on the international scene. A celebrated model, she was dark as night, she was on all of the runways and in every magazine and everyone was talking about how beautiful she was. Even Oprah called her beautiful and that made it a fact. I couldn’t believe that people were embracing a woman who looked so much like me, as beautiful. My complexion had always been an obstacle to overcome and all of a sudden Oprah was telling me it wasn’t. It was perplexing and I wanted to reject it because I had begun to enjoy the seduction of inadequacy. But a flower couldn’t help but bloom inside of me, when I saw Alek I inadvertently saw a reflection of myself that I could not deny. Now, I had a spring in my step because I felt more seen, more appreciated by the far away gatekeepers of beauty. But around me the preference for light skin prevailed, to the beholders that I thought mattered I was still unbeautiful. And my mother again would say to me you can’t eat beauty, it doesn’t feed you and these words plagued and bothered me; I didn’t really understand them until finally I realized that beauty was not a thing that I could acquire or consume, it was something that I just had to be.
And what my mother meant when she said you can’t eat beauty was that you can’t rely on how you look to sustain you. What is fundamentally beautiful is compassion for yourself and for those around you. That kind of beauty enflames the heart and enchants the soul. It is what got Patsey in so much trouble with her master, but it is also what has kept her story alive to this day. We remember the beauty of her spirit even after the beauty of her body has faded away.
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, that there is no shade in that beauty.￼
Confirmed: Lupita could not be more beautiful.
http://www.marketwatch.com/m/story/7ae9076a-5d4e-4c72-8873-f4c7a307ca7c?pageNumber=1&allPages=True. . K erry Washington, Paula Patton, Shonda Rhimes, Octavia Spencer, & Pam Grier to be Honored at the 5th Annual Essence Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon
–Essence Celebrates African-American Women Who Shine on the Big and Small Screen; Spotlights Black Women Writers, Directors, and Producers; and Addresses Re-Defining Roles of Black Women in Front of the Camera and Behind-the-Scenes –Essence.com To Exclusively Live Stream From The Red Carpet, Bringing Stars, Style & Sizzle Up Close! –Essence Annual Hollywood Issue Hits Newsstands February 12th
NEW YORK, Jan. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Today, ESSENCE is pleased to announce the 5th annual ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon honoring the industry’s most exciting African-American talent–both in front of the camera and behind-the-scenes in Hollywood. Taking place on February 23, 2012 at the Beverly Hills Hotel, ESSENCE will celebrate five extraordinary women who have left an indelible impression with their work within the film and television industries: Kerry Washington (Vanguard Award), Octavia Spencer (Breakthrough Performance), Pam Grier (Legend Award), Paula Patton (Shining Star Award) and Shonda Rhimes (Visionary Award presented by Lincoln). This star-studded event commemorates ESSENCE magazine’s annual Hollywood issue and in honor of the fifth anniversary, Essence.com is giving fans exclusive access to all the red-carpet celebrity style, action and interviews via live stream from 11:30am to 12:30pm PST and re-airing that evening at 9:00pm EST.
“Black women actors, writers, directors and producers still lack diverse opportunities in Hollywood and, unfortunately, are often overlooked during awards season,” commented ESSENCE Editor-in-Chief Constance White. “The ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon exists to provide a fitting tribute to the brilliant talent and accomplishments of African-American trailblazers like Kerry, Pam, Paula, Octavia and Shonda and celebrate their collective work as an inspiration for generations to come.”
Since its commencement in 2008, ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood has honored Halle Berry, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Angela Bassett, Queen Latifah, Taraji P. Henson, Viola Davis, Jennifer Hudson, Zoe Saldana, Mary J. Blige, Gabourey Sidibe, Jurnee Smollett, Ruby Dee, Diahann Carroll, Cicely Tyson, Loretta Devine, Gina Prince-Bythewood, and Suzanne de Passe. As one of the most highly anticipated events during Oscar week, this A-List event has hosted some of Hollywood’s elite, including Tom Cruise, Will Smith, Amy Adams, Samuel L. Jackson, Forest Whitaker, James Cameron, and Laurence Fishburne, among many others.
Stay tuned to Essence.com for highlights and behind-the-scenes access to ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood. Follow us on Twitter @essenceonline #EssenceBWIH. Join in the discussion on Facebook.
Sponsors for the ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon include presenting sponsor Lincoln, as well as partner sponsors ING, L’Oreal Paris and Smartwater.
About the ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood honorees:
Kerry Washington: As the recipient of the Vanguard Award, Kerry Washington has built an impressive list of credits starring in award winning, critically acclaimed films such as The Last King of Scotland opposite Oscar Award winner Forest Whitaker and Ray for which she won “Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture” at the NAACP Image Awards. In 2010, Washington made her Broadway debut in David Mamet’s provocative hit Race with James Spader and David Alan Grier. Washington appeared with Matt Damon, Josh Brolin and Sean Penn in Howard Zinn’s documentary The People Speak. In addition to earning praise for her accomplishments within her acting career, Washington was appointed by President Barack Obama to the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities in November of 2009. She will next be seen in We the Peeples with Craig Robinson, 1000 Words with Eddie Murphy, and The Details with Toby Maguire. Kerry is set to star
Gabourey Sidibe: “I’m Captain of This Ship – Without a First Mate!”
“Growing up, there weren’t a lot of actresses and singers who looked like me,” admits the breakout star of the gritty drama Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire in V magazine’s Size Issue (on sale Jan. 14.). That’s why her costar Mo’Nique, who plays her mother in the film, has been such an inspiration to the 26-year-old student-turned-actress.
8 Things You Should Know about Gabby Sidibe
“There were no real times that I thought maybe I can do it until Mo’Nique came along,” reveals Brooklyn-born Gabby. “She’s a plus-sized woman who didn’t care about one day being skinny. All my life I’ve been hearing that I’ll never amount to anything until I am skinny. And she disproved everything that everyone has ever told me.”
With a Golden Globe nomination and tons of Oscar buzz for her role in Precious, Gabby admits, “My life is so much different than I ever imagined it being.”
For example, she’s gained confidence and a thicker skin along the way.
Take a look at Gabby’s style evolution
“I used to get hurt so badly. Any bit of criticism, I would cry. But at some point I just realized, I count more than anyone else, or anybody’s opinion, because I’m living my life — I’m captain of this ship, without a first mate. And I really, really like who I am. I really, really dig me.”
Did you see Gabby’s performance in Precious? Think she deserves an Oscar? Talk back below.
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I love her spunk, I haven’t been able to see the movie yet, but I saw an interview she gave and I think she is fun and deserving of all her success.