Lupita Nyong’o Broke My Heart

I first heard about Nyong’o after returning to Venezuela. I hadn’t seen Twelve Years a Slave (though I want to), but I was hearing about the Oscar buzz.

Then, a new issue of Essence popped up in my Nook, and my heart broke.

But in a good way.

I saw Lupita Nyong’o, and I saw a reflection of myself. This short haired, classy, deep-hued, artistic, talented, small chested and BEAUTlFUL woman was being celebrated in Hollywood? It’s about damn time. She was/is everything that I would want to represent to the larger society about the beauty that is black women; a beauty that is often hidden amidst disgusting, stereotypical portrayals of us in reality shows and the media at large.

I am so happy that she is garnering accolades. May more come her way.

This speech is like my grandma’s cooking: full of love, honest, and nourishing. It serves as a reminder to us all that we do need to see ourselves reflected in the media sometimes. I know I’m standing a little bit taller because of it; I’m loving my body’s natural proportions because of it; and I’m trusting that a Black Renaissance is (re)occurring to counteract the (new) glut of negative images that have pervaded the media since the birth of the video vixen.

I’m also a little bit more dedicated to my craft hoping that one day the diversity of stories that make up the diversity that is the black woman will be celebrated more often.

Lupita, Essence, and Hollywood (for once), thank you.


13 thoughts on “Lupita Nyong’o Broke My Heart

  1. I was just thinking of her today and remembered that (skin hue aside) Whitney Houston was the closest thing the Black Community had to show biz royalty. In her early days she was a wonderful and very classy ambassador for the Black community, taking her classy songs and poise all over the world. Strangely enough her own community saw this as ‘whiteness’ and eventually rejected her for it. Being shunned by her own community may have been the start of her downfall as it was at the award show where she was booed that she hooked up with Bobby Brown and then she insisted that her next album was more ‘street’. It bombed, (in Whitney Houston terms).

    I don’t think this will happen to Lupita. The world has moved on and become much smaller and more variations of Black are available – if slightly hidden. It is one step at a time and her acceptance was clearly eased by women like Alex Wek. (Never stand next to this woman – she will make you want to kill yourself!)
    Plus she clearly has that solid family unit so many lack…but then again, so did Houston.

    • You’re right. I loved Whitney…grew up on Whitney. I was actually surprised at the amount of sadness I felt when she passed. And people sure did boo her when she first came out! I learned (after she’d already died) that she got booed at The Soul Train Awards.

      I get so tired of the race and cultural “gate keepers.” Why is there so much “room” per se to be white, but there’s only a little bit of space to be Black, Asian, and/or Latino? I went through that growing up myself. Unfortunately, it was present at my college too. I think that’s what disappointed me the most about college.

      Yes, I think more variations of Blackness are being made more available (thank God). I went to the Afro-Punk festival last year in Brooklyn. When I first got invited I wasn’t really interested, but I’m so glad my friend took me and expanded MY mind.

      Thank God for Alek Wek and for Lupita…women who are kicking down doors for the rest of us.

      Thanks for stopping by the blog!

      • “I get so tired of the race and cultural “gate keepers.” Why is there so much “room” per se to be white, but there’s only a little bit of space to be Black, Asian, and/or Latino? ” – Excellent point and the limitations were / are imposed by Black folk ON Black folk as much as by anyone else.

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