Vixen Vent: Why Lupita Nyong’o And Her Dark Skin Matter

Hollywood’s newest ‘it’ girl makes a bold statement: Black Is the New Beautiful.

On March 2, 2014, Lupita Nyong’o made history by becoming the sixth (!) thespian to win the Oscar for “Best Supporting Actress.” As I jubilantly joined in on the twitter celebration with several “Yaaaaaaaas” tweets, I noticed a relatively small group of people, mostly of color, who were unable to grasp the magnitude of what was taking place.

“If y’all seen Lupita in the street y’all would legit call her ugly but now she got an Oscar she so pretty. Y’all need to stop faking”. [email protected]

“Girls a lesson to be learned from Lupita-­Even if you are ugly,use that ugliness you may win an
Oscar oneday” [email protected]

“Ever since Lupita won an oscar, girls have been all over twitter saying “dark skin is the right skin”. Umm Please stop.” [email protected]

I don’t expect everyone to be #TeamLupita, but this puzzled me because instead of championing black history as it was happening, there was and sadly might always be, that small group of ignorant minded individuals who are unable to see the awe in what Lupita has accomplished this awards season for her riveting performance as Patsey in 12 Years a Slave. Seeing this display of naivety triggered me to question why any person of color would be so blindsided to the fact that Lupita was indeed shattering the glass ceiling.

Photo Credit: Liza Singer