My style crush for the month of July is Mexican/Kenyan Actress, Lupita Nyong’o who was catapulted into the limelight after starring in multi Oscar winning movie, 12 Years A Slave, and is now a global style and beauty icon.
Amazingly, 12 Years was her first ever movie and she, deservedly, bagged an Oscar Award for Best Supporting Actress. She is the first Kenyan to be nominated and to win an Oscar Award, the first Mexican born actress to win an Oscar Award and if that wasn’t enough, will get a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame!
There are many reasons to love Lupita but here are just eight!
ONE – She Defines Beauty
There are many beautiful actresses in Hollywood but there is something extra special about Lupita. Her beauty is effortless and simply breathtaking. Maybe its down to her her well kept natural hair, bright eyes and flawless skin. Or maybe it’s the elegant manner in which she carries herself and her down to earthiness. Whatever it is, I love it!
TWO – Her Style Is On Point
Every time I see Lupita – in a magazine, on a talk show or on the red carpet – the first thought to always hit my brain is WOW. She always looks well put together and completely on point. Lupita said that she hates shopping and has a stylist that does everything for her. Lets all stand and give her stylist a round of applause! What I particularly love about Lupita is that she is shaped like a real woman and its clear to see that she really enjoys being a fashionista.
THREE – She Is A Positive Role Model
According to Lupita she was teased, as a youth, because of her dark skin tone. Oh how her tormentors must be seething as top brands fall over themselves to feature her beautiful, velvety, dark chocolate skin on the covers of their magazines. Lupita is also the ambassador for many top brands including, most recently, a new Calvin Klein Fragrance to be launched soon. Not only is she sticking two fingers up at those who ridiculed her as a youngster but – similarly to how she looked up to Sudanese model, Alex Wek – she is now a source of inspiration to young dark-skinned women with big dreams.
FOUR – Her Hair Is Simply Awesome
My admiration for Lupita’s hair goes beyond her many wonderful hairstyles but the fact that she chooses to wear her hair natural. It seems ridiculous to celebrate someone walking around with their own natural hair on display but, believe me, its a huge deal. Back in the day black people were kinda embarrassed of their kinky roots because we were always told it looks messy. And not much has changed. In a recent cover for a top magazine Lupita’s natural hair was edited to give her a cleaner look. The Black Panther movement of the 60s and 70s helped us to change our mindset to not only love ourselves but to also love our hair. Kinky hair is not messy, its just your hair, so wear it with pride. And this is why it fills my heart with joy to see Lupita showing off, and embracing, her natural tresses.
FIVE – The Fact That Both Mexico And Kenya Are Fighting To Claim Her
How would you feel if two love interests were fighting for your hand, how about two countries! Lupita’s parents were working in Mexico at the time of her birth in 1983. A year later they would move back to their homeland of Kisumu, Kenya. At age sixteen Lupita’s parents sent her back to Mexico to learn Spanish. It is clear that Lupita has a close relationship with both countries. Since winning an Oscar Mexican media address her as ‘Mexican born, Lupita’. Meanwhile in Kenya they address her as ‘Kenyan, Lupita’. Lupita has put this matter to rest and calls herself Mexican/Kenyan (or is that Kenyan/Mexican oh dear!) and expresses equal love for both countries (and no, I’m not condoning the sharing of two love interests… although …. no, just no!)
SIX – Her Meteoric Rise To Fame
Not many people know that Lupita was attending drama school when she landed her Oscar winning role in 12 Years. Her life changed overnight. She went very quickly from being a struggling actor to global fame, to being a style icon and a top level brand ambassador. Others may have crumbled under the pressure but she continues to take it all in her stride, possibly because of her close knit family who help to keep her feet planted firmly on the ground. Her performance in 12 Years was outstanding and I also loved her in Queen of Katwe and Black Panther and I look forward to watching her career grow from strength to strength.
SEVEN – Brains As Well As Beauty
I have been trying to learn Spanish for more years than I care to remember so I love the fact that Lupita is fluent in four languages; English, Swahili, Luo and Spanish, as demonstrated in this interview with Vogue Magazine where she also displays nifty skills in hula-hooping. My dream is to one day live in a Spanish speaking country, immerse myself into the culture, and come away fluent in the language. I so admire multiple language speakers, the mere fact that you are able to switch your brain from one to the other, is mind boggling.
EIGHT – An Award Winning Director
The superstitions built up around albinism, in parts of Africa, is crazy. Albinism is, after all, just a lack of pigment in the skin but why does it instil so much loathing and fear in others. And how does this hostility – which can include exclusion and name calling – impact the people who suffer this condition. These issues are explored in an award-winning documentary written, produced, directed and edited by Lupita from 2009 called ‘In My Genes’. I have seen the trailer and cannot wait to see the full documentary. I would like to see Lupita continue to develop her skills in film-making and use her now high profile status to bring light to the issues that matter her.
If you enjoyed this blog post please leave a comment. You can also Follow my blog to stay across the latest and please subscribe for bi-monthly tips on looking fab on a budget with occasional giveaways.
Some links to products are affiliate, I try and link to the exact item where possible but if it’s sold out, I will link to the closest similar item. Thank you to my lovely subscribers for watching and for your support, it is valued and appreciated more than you can imagine.
All the best. Krissy. xx
Featured Image Credit: Capital FM in Kenya