Monday, March 3, 2014

Lupita's Oscar Win a Win for ALL skin tones

Like most people, I was elated to see young newcomer Lupita Nyong'o win an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in "12 Years A Slave." Throughout the award season, she has been a fashion standout and has captivated the public with her beauty, poise, elegance and humble heart.

I remember when Halle Berry won the Oscar for "Monster's Ball." I was absolutely ecstatic because she was the first African-American woman to nab the Best Actress Oscar. What I don't remember is saying to myself "This is for all the light skin, yellow, mixed race girls with long hair out there." And I certainly didn't use it as an opportunity on social media to elevate my own perception of beauty.

Yes, Lupita has darker skin. Yes, Lupita has shorter hair and yes, she is to be celebrated for who she is but there are those who take this opportunity to elevate their self esteem by putting other women down who don't share in these physical features yet we {lighter skin tones} are just as happy to celebrate her beauty. No, I don't look like Lupita but my grandmother did. Who determines who is entitled to celebrate the beauty of a woman? Must we be a mirror image of beauty to appreciate it?

As a lighter skinned woman, I have faced discrimination and racism and behaviors demonstrated by darker skinned Blacks makes me endure all over again it within my own race. It's really an outdated paradigm that will continue to divide us and hamper our intellectual growth.

I am sure that Lupita will change a young girl's perception of herself. My life changed in September of 1984 when I saw Vanessa Williams win Miss America. It just so happens that Vanessa has light eyes and light skin but she would have had the same impact on my perception of beauty and self worth had she been any shade of brown skin. She was someone I could relate to and I won't apologize for that.

Shout outs to "the chocolate sisters" leave me confused because the chocolate I eat comes in white, light, milk and dark. We can never attain equality when we continue to self segregate and create discord within our own race.

2 comments:

  1. I wholeheartedly agree! I was equally proud of Vanessa William's win as I am of Lupita Nyong'o's. Lovingly, a Sister whose shade falls somewhere between both.

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