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.