Lupita Nyong’o: ‘My one prayer to God was that I would wake up lighter skinned’


I already covered the fashion from yesterday’s Essence event in LA – go here to see. Essence got a really wonderful turnout for their annual ladies’ luncheon, and many of the ladies looked fantastic. I actually thought, fashion-wise, Lupita Nyong’o didn’t really stand out. But Lupita always manages to stand out in other ways, even if her Giambattista Valli crop top ensemble is questionable. Lupita attended the luncheon because they were giving her an award for “Breakthrough Performance”. During her speech, Lupita talked about her skin, about praying to God to make her lighter and about positive, dark-skinned role models for young women. I LOVE HER.

Nyong’o received the Breakthrough Performance Award and got real in her speech. This year’s Oscars famously mark the third time that a POC has been nominated for the Best Director Award in the show’s history. As Steve McQueen competes for the top honor, the stars of his 12 Years a Slave – Chiwetel Ejiofor and Lupita Nyong’o are also the favorites in their own categories – Lead Actor and Supporting Actress. And because even this qualifies as an unusually diverse lineup of nominees, the topic of skin color has tended to come up a lot in the past few months.

Instead of shying away from a subject that she clearly finds difficult, Lupita Nyong’o faced it head on, as she addressed the guests at Essence Magazine’s seventh annual Women in Hollywood luncheon.

‘‘I got teased and taunted about my skin,’’ Nyong’o began, on stage in a ballroom at the Beverly Hills Hotel, according to ‘‘My one prayer to God was that I would wake up lighter skinned. The morning would come and I would be so excited about seeing my new skin that I would refuse to look down at myself until I was in front of the mirror because I wanted to see my face first. Every day I would feel the disappointment of being just as dark as the day before.’’

In an eye-opening testimony, Nyong’o recalled how she tried to bargain with god to make her skin lighter, so that she would avoid being taunted and teased by other children. Nyong’o said she tried to bargain with God by vowing to stop eating sugar cubes and to never lose her school sweater again, if she could only see a change in her skin tone. It wasn’t until she discovered Sudanese British supermodel Alek Wek that she began to believe in her own beauty.

“She was dark as night and was in all the magazines and on runways,” Nyong’o said. “My complexion had always been an obstacle to overcome. I couldn’t believe that people were embracing a woman who looked so much like me as beautiful. It was perplexing and I wanted to reject it because I had begun to enjoy the seduction of inadequacy. But a flower couldn’t help but bloom inside of me.”

Nyong’o said she would also like to inspire young women.

“I hope that my presence on your screen and my face in magazines may lead you, young girls, on a beautiful journey,” she said. “That you will feel the validation of your external beauty, but also get to the deeper business of being beautiful inside.”

[From Contact Music & HuffPo]

Bless her. I love her so much. This reminds me of what Viola Davis discussed during her Oscar campaign for The Help – Viola talked about her natural hair a lot, about being a dark-skinned black woman in Hollywood and the perceptions of inadequacy, of being less-than. I think Lupita’s message works on two levels. One, young women will understand that even someone as beautiful as Lupita had some bad moments when it came to loving herself. And two, Lupita is just another much-needed role model for young black women, on every single level. And if Lupita doesn’t win the Oscar… I will cry.



Photos courtesy of PR Photos.

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146 Responses to “Lupita Nyong’o: ‘My one prayer to God was that I would wake up lighter skinned’”

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  1. Vee says:

    Profound. She is beautiful inside and out.

    • missy says:


    • Maria says:

      Yes she is.

      I REALLY need her to not go away after award season because she has a talent and grace I’ve not witnessed in a long time.

    • Penny says:

      MLK Jr said it best, “I have a dream…we will not be judged by the color of our skin, but by the content of our character.” Skin in varied cultures, is a measurable aspect of identity and beauty and resources to which you are entitled. I remember watching Mississippi Masala where this issue was highlighted in the context of Indian culture (I am not Indian myself and do not purport to speak for others who are, but find the message reasonates in my own context). There was a scene where mothers were discussing marital prospects. “You can be light skinned and have no money; dark-skinned and have money; but you can’t be dark-skinned and have no money.” Being dark myself and having several friends from walks of life to include Pakistani, Indian, Carribean, Trini, West Indies, European, African, etc., I have examples from my personal life that echo this mentality. But I have to say self love is the key. And prescence of role models with similar features definitely impacts how I perceive beauty. Beauty in general is a function of what we are taught to embrace – hair length, eye color, body type, skin tone, breast size, height and the list goes on and on. Seeing other beautiful people that don’t meet ideal or venerated standards is empowering.

      • kri says:

        @Penny-MLK did say it best, I agree. One of the people I love most in the whole world has skin that is the same color as Ms. N’oyngo. She grew up in New Orleans, where the skin color hierarchy is as real and present now as it was 300 years ago-amongst her own race. She doesn’t speak to her youngest sister anymore, who is much lighter, because both of them accuse the other of being “hateful because she’s lighter/she’s darker”….it’s sad, but neither will give an inch. When I pointed out to Bonita that I was white as milk and she loves me, she said that had nothing to do with it, and “I’d never get it”. She’s right-but she loves me, I love her, and those are her feelings about color, and so it goes. Maybe someday NONE of us will care.

      • cristel says:

        Love the Penny. Thank you for sharing.

      • Penny says:

        Thank you KRI & Cristel. It’s unfortunate, but it’s a reality. But it’s reality that is changing. And I am happy about the current strides.

  2. bns says:

    I got emotional reading that. She is amazing.

    • Anon says:

      Me too 🙁

    • Tiffany :) says:

      Me too. I am glad she is able to carry such a message to the world. I am thankful for Lupita.

    • SonjaMarmeladova says:

      This is probably the first time I hear about this. The TONE of one’s skin matters? I’m shocked. Really, really shocked. What the f***k is the matter with the world.

      • Kate says:

        SonjaMarmeladova, unfortunately this is the tip of the iceberg. you don’t even want to know about the good hair vs bad hair, natural vs weave debates smh

      • Lou says:

        I remember being really stunned when I found out the issues with natural Black hair in America. I can’t understand why natural hair isn’t acceptable, and I hope that will change, because everyone has the right to wear their hair how they want, and no one should feel obliged to wear a wig or weave to feel accepted by society.

      • Splinter says:

        I know, right? Coming from a very white country I found such details as the “nappy hair” or the reacton to blackface very enlightening.

  3. idk says:

    She’s not just a role model for young black women, she’s a role model for all women. The light skin vs. dark skin issue is prevalent in many cultures. It’s horrible how women are made to feel worthless based on their skin color, body shape, facial features, or hair. Now a days, even men are getting pressured (not to the same extent as women though). I really like Lupita, she is a talented actress.

    • Lily says:

      Yes! This is an issue in all ethic groups that have varying shades. It not just white vs black but it is also dark VS brown VS light brown. When are ppl going to get over this belief that people’s worth are tied to their skin color.

      • mayamae says:

        “When are ppl going to get over this belief that people’s worth are tied to their skin color.”

        The problem is so insidious. It’s not only projected from the white community and Hollywood, but actually perpetuated from within. I remember watching Spike Lee’s School Daze back in the day, and it’s sad to me that so little has changed.

      • Anon says:

        @ mayamae “it’s sad to me that so little has changed” this exactly.

      • Janet says:

        This goes back generations before the Civil War when light-skinned slaves were preferred for house servants over black-skinned slaves. It’s been perpetuated among black Americans from one generation to the next. Up until the 1960s some black sororities on college campuses had a paper bag test. They would hold up a brown paper bag next to a candidate and if she was darker than the bag, they wouldn’t let her pledge. Even today you will hear some black men calling dark-skinned women ugly. And the most despicable thing is, most of the time they are darker than the women they are calling ugly.

      • Anon says:

        I know Janet, it still saddens me. It probably won’t change in my lifetime, hope it changes eventually; and just doesn’t remain the same always. Like it seems to.

    • dizzylucy says:

      I agree – I think everyone at some point has something about themselves that they just wish would change. To see someone as lovely and confident as she is share that is a good thing for anyone who hears that message.

    • AG-UK says:

      We went to Thailand a few years ago and I wanted sun cream ( I am black but use no 15) all the cream had skin lightener. I thought how odd sun cream to lay out in the sun but has a skin lightner and in all the hair places in London (sort of like Sally’s in the US) beauty supply places at least an entire row dedicated to skin lightening.

      • Pumpkin Pie says:

        it’s crazy, in countries like Thailand, India, Philippines, there is this obsession of sorts for people to look lighter. Lighter skin is associated with beauty and success. The lighter skinned you are the better. For women and men. And they have so many cosmetic products that promise to lighten your skin. I don’t know about African countries, to be honest. But I remember reading in an article about women who bought illegal, really shady products, hoping that it will lighten their skin tone, and they suffered from burns. Horrible. And for what is worth : in my opinion, this desire to be whiter was not necessarily projected by white people towards people of other races, I do think though colonialism had something to do with it to a some extent.
        Oh and I know pumpkins are not white, but as far as this post goes I am a white

      • idk says:

        @ Pumpkin Pie

        I think the number one selling beauty product in India is “Fair and Lovely” skin lightening cream. They are now trying to get men to do the same. Fructis has a skin lightening product specifically for men…it sells really well in India.

        There is a lot of stuff that goes on within each ethnicity when it comes to dark vs. light skinned. It’s disgusting. We are doing it to ourselves. If you look at a lot of Caucasians, they pay money to get tanned !

      • LadySlippers says:

        Actually some anthropologists think the idea of ‘lighter is better’ pre-dates colonialism and might have a biological basis to it. That’s still a controversial topic but it’s worth mentioning (and still sucks regardless of origin).

      • Anna says:

        We went to Malaysia, I needed a little something from the drugstore, couldn’t leave for 1 hour, I was mesmerised with the huge number of whitening creams. And not only generic but oddly specific : nipples, anu4 and so on. I honestly wouldn’t know where to get this stuff in Europe but there it was, in a ordinary place, easily available. I was actually thinking I might get something just to try it on . Even if I am as white as they come, 1/2 in that place and I was brainwashed! I really feel for the people who have to face additional pressure to all the inadequacy hell we go on daily basis as women.

      • clare du lune says:

        I found it was the same in Vietnam when I went there for a wedding. Though I am bi-racial I have “glow in the dark” pasty-pale skin and Viets would come up to me and touch my arm and compliment me on my white skin. The Vietnamese woman who was getting married has beautiful brown skin but she is not considered attractive in her country because of this! I told her that in North America people pay good money to get tanned, brown skin! But her mother and sisters were wearing long sleeves, long pants and turtlenecks in 100+ degree and high humidity so as not to get darker. So yes, it does exist in every ethnicity and it is a huge pity.

      • Dingo says:

        An new study shows nearly 77 procent of Nigerian women use skin bleaching – thats scary and possible very dangerous.
        Many of the products contain lead, which inhibits the production of melanin, which gives color to the skin.

      • lily says:

        Asian always have obsession with fair skin because in our culture, beauty always associated with fair milky skin. And fair milky skin associated with class and nobleness. white complexion was seen as noble and aristocratic, especially in Southeast Asia, where the sun was always out. Only those rich enough could afford to stay indoors, while peasants baked in the rice fields.

      • Sachi says:

        I’m Filipino and I’ve lived abroad for the past 11 years. Back in the 90s the ideal Filipina beauty was “morena” (tan/brown skin) and long black hair. Nowadays the ideal has shifted into pale skin, orange hair that looks so cheap/lightened hair, and foreign features. There has been an explosion of celebrities in the Philippines who are half Filipino/half-Caucasian and their looks dictate the direction of the current beauty standards. If there is a brown-skinned Filipino celebrity, you can bet that in 6 months-1 year she will have skin that is 3 shades lighter, lightened hair, and surgeries to make her look more foreign.

        The first time I went back, in 2009, I was surprised to see 4 long aisles of skin whitening products at the grocery stores. I wasn’t aware of the pale skin mania in the Philippines until I went there and everywhere I looked people were buying skin whitening products. Many Filipino women even drink something called Glutathione that whitens the skin faster than creams and lotions.

        It does date back to pre-colonial days, but colonialism made the issue worse. The Philippines was colonized by Spain for more than 300 years, then the USA came and colonized the country for around 40 years. The cultural upheavals during those times must have been huge as well as the notion of superiority imposed by colonists towards the people who had no choice but to submit and adopt whatever culture, language, religion, and standards the colonists had.

        My younger cousin has dark brown skin and she is so, so beautiful. It makes me sad every time she says she wants to whiten her skin. It didn’t help that her own mother has bleached her face to the point that her skin is so thin and red now.

      • aang says:

        I am native american and have to say that I have always loved my red/brown skin color. On the reservation looking as native as possible is a good thing and off the reservation my coloring has always brought me positive attention. I know 100+ years ago that would not have been the case. In Europe especially people seem to be fascinated by my heritage. My husband’s German relatives were tripping over themselves to get a picture with my “Indian” relatives at our wedding. I understand that the curiosity can be construed as its own form of racism but I try to see it as a good thing. In LA and New York eveyone assumes I’m hispanic which is fine with me and I think I am often taken for the nanny to my fair skinned, blond haired, blued eyed daughter. Traveling in Mexico is the one time where I really notice a difference in skin color and station. I tend to look like the people working in the hotels as maids (brown skinned and indigenous featured) not like the wealthy Mexicans (light skinned and European featured) staying at the hotel.

  4. Leah says:

    She is great. Really love her, so beautiful and eloquent, really a breath of fresh air. Love to see her have a long career.

    • Natalie says:

      Eloquent is correct! This phrase is SO powerful: “I wanted to reject it because I had begun to enjoy the seduction of inadequacy”. I haven’t heard it described so well.

  5. This is such a huge issue, for black people–and it goes both ways. I love her speech.

    My mom and her siblings are all dark skinned–all around the same shade as Lupita. Well, one of my aunts is probably half a shade LIGHTER than the rest of her siblings…this was in the sixties. That’s how her godmother chose her as a godchild–because she was lighter skinned than her siblings. I can’t imagine how my mom felt, as a child, knowing that someone saw you as less than, because you were dark.

    On the flip side–my older sister, who is as pale as I am, was teased and talked about in college (she went to a ‘black school’ in Georgia)—because she is a black woman–who also is pale, with green eyes, and wavy black hair.

    It’s hard to be black–you’re never enough. You can’t just be, sometimes. You’re either too dark or too light. I hate what people are going to say about me, when I go into the big, wide world.

    • BendyWindy says:

      That is so true. You are never enough. At least, that’s how you’re made to feel. But we are enough. We are.

    • Dustyfoot says:

      This. Theres trouble on either end of this spectrum. I came out very light skinned even though my mum is about Lupitas complexion. My childhood was hellish. Half the time certain people are acting like I am the second coming and the other half I was fighting off resentment from darker skinned girls. I got my share of beat downs for how I looked. I was accused of stealing bfs (just because the guy made some dumb objectifying statement about me) & worst of all I have been accused of skin bleaching. Lupita wanted to be lighter but me, I prayed to look like my mother, to fit in, to not look “uppity” or “barbie” or “yellow”.

      • Penny says:

        Dusty foot and Virgilia, I am sorry. I have light skinned black girlfriends who were always getting ragged on for their real hair being weave and subjected to more overtly hateful taunts than myself, as a dark-skinned woman. The prejudice to which I was subjected was covert – coming in the form of being the last pick or exceptional beauty amongst my light skinned counterparts and being excluded from social situations that were more geared toward light skinned peers. I say this because I want to say either prejudice is unacceptable. Just because others uphold light skinned attributes as ideal standards of beauty doesn’t mean your exempt from abuse. I have biracial girlfriends who are African that just because of their light skin and popularity were automatically perceived as ‘easy’ or ‘slutty’. Both ways of hating on black and light skinned people is insidious and painful. We need to unite and rise against this instead of perpetuating the vicious cycle because no one controls how and to whom they are born and consequently his or hers appearance.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      Virgilia, it might not mean much, but to me you ARE enough. You have shown a lot of wisdom in your comments (I have been noticing that a lot recently!).

      I find beauty in so many shades of human, please know that there are a lot of people like me that are so happy we have so many varieties of “gorgeous” in the world.

      • paranormalgirl says:

        We’re all “enough.” We’re all pretty enough, smart enough, tall enough, short enough, thin enough, heavy enough, light enough, dark enough (in my case the ultimate ginge enough!)…. and I think most of here know that we are. The rest of the world just has to catch up with us!

        Seriously, this is one of the few places where women (and men) can come and express their ideas and opinions and get a (most of the time) intelligent debate about things (except in the Jolie/Aniston posts). The regular posters here are diverse, interesting, whip smart, and funny as hell.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        I agree whole heartedly, Paranormalgirl!

      • kri says:

        +10000000000000000 !! I love colors, and one of my most fun days recently was going to a day spa with some of my friends, all of us getting scrubs and moisturizing treatments-all of our (different) skins glowing, and seeing how the same shade of polish we all chose looked so fab on us all-that was cool. Too bad the world isn’t more like a day spa.

    • minime says:

      I will repeat what @Tifanny said. I have read your comments lately and they are always nice and well put. I’m sure that the person behind them must be not only beautiful but extremely interesting 🙂 The wide big world can prepare itself for you 🙂

      It is a pity that this is even a thing for humanity…shades of color.
      I haven’t seen Lupita acting but I’m so much looking forward for that. She’s an incredibly beautiful person in every way.

      • paranormalgirl says:

        you have to see 12YAS! It’s difficult to watch, but Lupita’s performance is transcendent.

  6. Luca26 says:

    I love her so much! What bravery to talk about it when so many black actresses lighten their skin to fit in.

    • basil says:

      Just curious, what black actresses lighten their skin to fit in? I’m American and I know of no African American actresses who do this. ..are you from another country where this happens?

      • wonderwoman21 says:

        I would say Lil Kim is a good example of an American star who lightened her skin. Maybe Nicki Minaj, she certainly looks vastly different.

      • idk says:

        I would say “Lil Kim” even though she’s not an actress. Other than her, I can’t think of any where it is really obvious. I can, on the other hand, list a number of Caucasian actresses that darken their skin through spray tans, etc.

      • Sooloo says:

        Even if it’s not so much that celebs are reported to have lightened their skin, there are still other elements at play, such as when they are photographed for magazine spreads and there is always the question of whether it’s just a trick of the lighting on set, or whether it’s Photoshop magic to lighten skin tone. The most prime recent example would be Beyonce – compare pics of her in the older days with Destiny’s Child with pics of her in a L’Oreal spread and there are accusations of her tone being digitally lightened in order to widen her appeal among the masses.

      • Grim says:

        There’s also the fact that the majority of black women who are celebrities, get the most attention from the media (pre-Lupita) and are considered beautiful, are either biracial or at the lighter end of the skin color spectrum (Beyonce, Rihanna, Halle). That definitely effects you as a darker-skinned black girl, when almost all of the other black females you see in the media are considerably lighter than you.

  7. Lee says:

    Lovely speech. She speaks to so many who carry false images of themselves as “less than”, when in fact they have such inner and outer beauty they don’t yet see and appreciate. Profound, really.

  8. FingerBinger says:

    Thankfully she didn’t start bleaching her skin,which she could have easily done. I’m so happy that Lupita is talking about the people who influenced her like Alek Wek, Whoopi Goldberg, and Oprah Winfrey. Women that don’t fit into society’s so called standard of beauty,but have managed to become very successful.

  9. BendyWindy says:

    I know this site loves Lupita, but she hasn’t been on my radar. I like what she is saying here, though, because I can related. I’m a medium brown skinned black woman, neither light nor dark, but I also would pray to be lighter and to have “better” hair. The day that I was able to look in the mirror and just love myself was a powerful day, and I think I got there earlier than most.

  10. Delta Juliet says:

    That makes me so sad. I am about as white as I could possibly be (so pale that the circles under my eyes make me look like I’ve been punched) so I can’t relate to the desire to be lighter, but I just look at her and think her skin is absolutely beautiful!!! I’m glad she found some comfort in her own skin, because it is gorgeous.

    • name du jour says:

      Same here, I’m so pasty white that I don’t really have features until I put on makeup. I would love to have skin that glows like that, and lips and eyes that don’t need a ton of cosmetics to look good.

  11. Maggie says:

    I was the only redhead in a small town and always wished my hair was a different colour because of the teasing. A person just has to live with what they are and stop the pity party. I get tired of the poor me crap because I don’t have the right colouring. Sometimes our differences are what makes us stronger.

    • missy says:

      two words: false equivalence. i’m sick today and don’t have the energy to explain further. people may think this is a silly gossip website but a lot of commenters have trenchant, insightful things to say, much more so than me, so i’ll leave it to the others.

      • wonderwoman21 says:

        But there was a time where red heads were enslaved and all their red headed children were born into slavery and torn from their arms to be sold. Red headed men could be burned to death for looking at a non-red headed woman. Even once freed by law they were still subject to anti-red headisms; like sitting on the back of the bus, segragation, lynchings, etc. Even 40 years later the legacy of those happenings affect red headed women today. Oh wait, none of that happened.

      • Lita says:

        Agree 1000%

      • vangroovey says:

        Thank you! To add one more small thought — because I too am sick today. Not only is it a false equivalent, but by trying to relate having red hair with being a “visible minority” is also “privilege denying”, which, well, is a form of racism.

      • ya says:

        @wonderwoman21 – great post!

      • Maggie says:

        Well they used to burn us at the stake because they thought we were witches. Plus I had freckles. How was I supposed to get rid of those? Sorry but I stand my ground. When you feel sorry for yourself because of your color you perpetuate the racism or whatever you want to call it. Sometimes I think ppl use it as an excuse. I know there’s racism and I find it unacceptable to say the least but ppl of color can be racist too. I dont judge a person on their color. I only notice it if they make it an issue.

    • Nikkie says:

      Maggie, I understand where you are coming from but it’s the same. You can change your hair color in 30 min., you can’t change your skin color significantly. Prejudice against even a certain shade of skin color can affect what kind of job you get, promotions, options in marriage, treatment in stores, every aspect of your life.

    • Kim1 says:

      Do you realize many studies have shown darker skinned Blacks receive longer sentences than Lighter skinned Blacks.

      Nevermind I thought Paula Deen comparing herself to Michael Sam was the silliest comment I’ve read on CB this week but not anymore.

    • Gonna point out there is actually a ‘Kick a Ginger Day’ …so yeah. It’s not that Maggie is saying that her experience is the same but that in her own way she too as a woman was made to feel ‘less’ because she did not conform to the norm. As a fellow Ginge I totally get the being bullied for looking different part of things. And FYI while red hair is common in Northern Europe there was a time when it was used to help differentiate between Irish and English in Ireland…no one who has studied the history of Ireland can say that the English didn’t try to commit genocide with their actions that worsened the Potato Famine. Post-Colonial resentments come in many shapes and sizes…and if there’s one unifying experience that women of all races, creeds and cultures can agree on is at one point feeling they couldn’t live up the standard of beauty put forward to them.

      • Tellie says:

        I knew a girl in junior high school who had red hair, and she was mocked and treated horribly. (very sad)

    • Maureen says:


      Perfectly expressed.

      • wonderwoman21 says:

        Maggie isnt just sharing her story as part of the human condition or relating; she is literally writing of Lupita’s experience as a “pity party”.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      First of all, it’s not the same thing, as others have expressed very eloquently. What happened in your case? You grew up, and people stopped teasing you. For a dark-skinned person, the discrimination continues throughout their life.

      But second, I saw absolutely no pity party here. It’s an inspiring story of finding self-love and a wish to share that with other young girls who may be made to feel less-than because of their appearance.

      I don’t see how you can make that about pity, and make it about you.

      • wonderwoman21 says:

        Right on Goodnames, I dont see a pity party here at all.

        Lupita’s look is unique in Hollywood; her skin color, facial features, and hair. Most often when we see black women in Hollywood they are biracial (Halle Berry, Alicia Keys, Thandie Newton), light-skinned (Paula Patton, Beyonce, Faith Evans), light-eyed (Rihanna, Vanessa Williams), decked out in blonde hair (Beyonce, Nicki Minaj) and either have angular noses or nose jobs (Kerry Washington, Janet Jackson, Lil Kim).

        So for her to speak about her looks as a successful woman in an arena where she doesnt fall into “acceptable” (despite her obvious beauty) it is inspiring rather than pity partying; especially when historical context is added.

      • Maureen says:

        I think @Magggie’s point is that every human being in this world feels discrimination over some aspect of who they are. Every human being would like to change something about who they are. This is not a condition of people of color. It’s a HUMAN condition.

      • vangroovey says:


        Yes, suffering is part of the human condition — but there is no denying that there are degrees; and having white skin in North America absolves a person of a layer of “suffering” (in the cultural sense) with which PoC must contend. Comparing red hair with being a person of color in NA is like comparing a spanking to a full-on mugging. And if Maggie’s point really was what you say, why did she have to throw in the “pity party” comment?

      • paranormalgirl says:

        I’ve never felt discriminated against and I’m as ginger as they get (red haired, blue eyed county Mayo girl.)

      • Maureen says:


        You do NOT know the lives people are living inside their skin. Please, stop perpetuating the racist myth that white people are mystically born having things easier because of our skin color. It is NONSENSE and only perpetuates division and animosity. There are white people all over this world — yes, even in North America! — who are suffering horribly in many ways and their white skin isn’t saving them.

      • vangroovey says:

        Nobody is saying that white people don’t suffer. Never said that. But white people don’t have to deal with racism in the same way people of color do. It’s just a fact. Saying otherwise is denying that racism exists — and if we deny it exists, we can never work to make things better.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Of course white people suffer in all the ways that humans do, from poverty, death, loss and so on. No one is saying they don’t, or lacking compassion for people just because they’re white. People are just pointing out, rightly, I believe, that the only redhead in a town does not suffer the same lifelong, damaging discrimination as a black person. People teased her, and children hate to be teased, hate to be different. I’m sure it was painful. But her OWN FAMILY wasn’t telling her not to play in the sun because it would make her ugly freckles come out, her own family wasn’t saying such a shame you’re not a blonde. That would be so much more worthy. People are right. You should be ashamed of having red hair. It means you are less than people with better hair colors. It’s not the same thing, and it’s ridiculous to claim that is. And Maggie grew up and moved on. Black people can’t do that. They have to fight centuries of messages that you’re not as good, you’re not as good. They have to find the strength and love of themselves to fight that, just to feel ok about who they are and how they look, and, as a culture, we DON’T.

      • Chigirl says:

        @ GoodNamesAllTaken. Just wanted to commend you on a very thoughtful and well articulated response on the ” stigma” of color. You made very intelligent comments especially considering you are not a person of color. Bravo.

  12. reality check says:

    I can never understand why kids need to tease others for being slightly different, looking different is what makes people beautiful! I find these ethnic women extremely beautiful and I don’t even see the beauty in the conventional looking women.

    I can understand why she felt that way because I did when I was younger, I always wanted to be like the white girls and have a white name, however being 29 now, I love who I am and love where my origins lie. I hope parents can teach kids to embrace each other and love everyone.

    • Maureen says:

      What in the world is a “white name”?

      See, this is how racial divisions are perpetuated. It’s a two-way street.

      • Lauren says:

        Maureen the thing that ‘reality check’ said wasn’t at all meant in negative connotations at all. My own mother told me when she named her children she picked ‘white names’ because such names formed a better impression about ones education/ standing etc (basically it would inspire more positivity from the majority culture). If people looked at my name on a resume or application for a job they could very well think I was British-White (my last name is British) and that would be better than what my mother called a typical ‘Black American name’ that would only cause ridicule and judgements to be passed about how classy/cultured I was not only from whites but from many black people as well.

        The racial divisons are indeed perpetuated but in this case it is not one of hurting white people as what are perceived as white names are put in higher standing/ framed as proper and better than ethnic sounding names.

      • Maureen says:

        ONCE AGAIN: What in the world is a “white name”?

        It’s interesting how no on can/will answer this for me.

        Here’s a hint: try giving me some examples of “white names” and explain to me how each of them is a “white name”.

      • Penny says:

        Maureen I understand your frustration with not getting a direct or straight answer. Using “white” as an adjective to modify something culturally or ethnically in linguistics is problematic. Perhaps the best illustration if this phenomenon is from the movie Roots – which portrays the experience of African slaves who were stripped of their birth given African names and renamed with Anglo- Saxon names, i.e., Koonta Kentay being renamed Tobey. Lupita N’yong is Kenyan, but she may have been renamed Linda Norris during slavery when sold. Surely you can understand their are names with roots, prefixes and suffixes that betray peoples’ heritage or genealogy, i.e., “ski” appears in some Polish, Russian and Jewish names; Nordics have “sen”; “ez” or “es” for Spanish; “ini” and “o” for Italians, etc. As a professional in Industrial Organizational dynamics, I coordinated several work readiness classes where I cautioned job seekers against using overtly “ethnic” names on a resume if they had an alternative because it was a common practice for employers to weed out applicants if they could infer their race of ethnicity. There are other factors like addresses and Ivy League education and membership in certain organizations that are used to infer a job seeker’s background for which they are discriminated. Unfortunately because discrimination is institutionalized, those who are adversely impacted must be conscientious of these factors and develop work arounds in the interim in order to maintain candidacy or increase their marketability until their is more equality.

      • Penny says:

        Sorry for the excessive typos in misuse of “their” , “there” and “they’re and some prepositions.

      • reality check says:

        Thank you Penny! Very well said, I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  13. Kayla says:

    Just reading that made my heart clench! I’ve always been covered in freckles and felt the same way she did. Girls are lucky to have her to look up to. She’s beautiful inside and out.

  14. Kat says:

    My boyfriend is very dark skinned and he’s so handsome. In fact it’s one of the things that I was physically attracted to when I met him, along with his smile. So you could have knocked me over with a feather when he said he felt like he was too dark and it always bothered him. I’ve always been very sensitive to racism but as a white woman, even being in love with a man of color that relates his experiences to me and caring deeply about the issue, I’m never going to understand it on the same level as someone that lives it. White people need to understand this. This is why I get very irritated when white people say racism is dead just because it isn’t socially acceptable.

    Oh! ETA – the reason I was shocked is that I thought that all black people faced the same types of racism, kind of, and it isn’t true. He reminded me of the paper bag test and said it can still be a thing, with white people and with other black people in his experience.

    • Penny says:

      Kat, my husband is white and I am black – African to be more specific. I am very dark and although I’ve been discriminated against heavily where employment and other opportunities are concerned, he along with other white people do not think I am the face of discrimination or oppression because of how far I’ve come. I managed to break many boundaries in gaining admittance to places where I am the minority in representing the black constituent in ‘that’ class or ‘that’ department. Yet I consistently do not get the same recognization for my accomplishments – in promotion or payment or awards as my white counterparts. There is a glass ceiling and I have hit it. I know because when there’s discussion of being placed in senior role above my less qualified peers, all of a sudden I hear crickets. And when crickets chatter it’s about being advanced with the condition that I take less money or a lower title, yet I have equivalent or more years of experience and skills and/or greater academic credentials. I am asked to accept less and celebrate because my attitude is supposed to be one of gratitude just for being considered for something I am more than competent for – and now my superiors who are my age or younger with less credentials because of their light skin get the privilege(s). And the cycle continues. I can’t seem to get more that what I’ve been getting in the past. That would require being put in a position of authority over whites and Hispanics who better fit the ideal image the employer pictures as a lead in operations. I know through and through I get passed over for being black, not incompetent.

  15. Nikkie says:

    It’s really sad we live in a society where a beautiful woman with absolutely lovely skin felt inadequate because of her skin color. This is a big issue too in the Asian and Indian community. A Japanese girl I know uses skin lighter all the time and when she goes to the beach, she always stays under the umbrella.

    On my softball team in High School, we had these two Black twin girls. They were very, very light complexioned already, like Beyonce’s skin color. But they were always fearful of getting a tan when we played or practiced on sunny days. I remembered them always saying they “didn’t want to get dark.” They would put on thick layers of sunblock and run quickly into the shade every break we had. I always though it was strange but I didn’t really understand that they had a skin color complex until I was older.

    • idk says:

      Who do you think gave them that complex? It most likely comes from family members. I was told the same thing growing up “don’t play in the sun too much you’ll get too dark”. Take a look at some of those Indian matrimonial sites, the number one thing you’ll see is “looking for a fair bride”. That’s all that matters to some people. It will take a very very long time for things to change. It won’t be in our lifetime, that’s for sure.

      • Lex says:

        It is a bit of a different situation in India. The different skin tones belong to different castes and you cannot marry out of your caste.

        Fair skin in India equates to wealth (nothing to do with colonial influence thank you) as it meant you were rich enough to not work in the fields all day in the sun thus darkening your skin.

      • idk says:

        @ Lex – there are dark and light skinned Indians that belong to the same caste. Caste has nothing to do with skin color. The caste system in India has a lot to do with “occupation”. It also depends on what religion you are in India. Each religion has their own caste system as well. In India, you can’t really escape the sun, it’s not just people in the fields who have to deal with that. Also, there are a lot of Indians in India who are rich and dark skinned. There are also some who are light skinned and poor. A lot of times the people working in the fields are the land owners themselves…they do this to save money…they work the fields themselves. I have seen it first hand.

      • idk says:

        oops I posted twice.

  16. Lucy says:


    • Sunlily says:

      Agreed. Eloquently put, btw.

      Okay, who’s cutting onions? I had to close my eyes and take a few breaths, because that was quite a lovely speech that hit close to home.

  17. FLORC says:

    This is an issue and it deserves coverage. I wish more people with dark skin in the public eye would speak up about this.
    And as I’ve said before I appreciate she’s not lightening her skin or relaxing her hair. She’s beautiful more so as being natural.

    Still, this speech seems like a carbon copy of many speeches given before this. Men, women, actors, models have all spoken about the praise light skin and light features receives. That dark skin and features is just frowned upon. Great it’s an issue being talked about again, but will she champion this issue past award season? Will she discuss it at all when there’s no Oscar to be won? That’s what i’m waiting for.

  18. The Voice says:

    I used to make this wish but it was about getting boobs. I’m almost 40 now and my wish never came true. That’s why I’m glad there are people in the media like Keira Knightley though it’s not a fair comparison to skin color. Everyone wants to feel like there are other people like them.

    I applaud Lupita’s speech – she’s beautiful inside and out. I’m rooting for her on Sunday!

  19. Melanie says:

    The very first thing I noticed about her was how gorgeous her skin is. Just glowing, smooth and so beautiful. As a super pale white chick, this all too common story breaks my heart. It saddens me that darker skinned people have to deal with this. Beauty takes many forms. I hope I live to see the day that no one is judged or diminished by the color of their skin. It’s hard enough dealing with body issues that we have some control over, like weight. But to be shamed by your skin color, it’s just evil to me. Talk about being uncomfortable in your own skin! I think she’s gorgeous and I applaud her for talking about this.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Me, too.

    • tracking says:

      Me, three. I’ll never forget reading Toni Morrison’s “The Bluest Eye” as a child. There’s a scene in Precious where the protagonist fantasizes about looking like a light-skinned blonde. Heartbreaking.

    • Kath says:

      I know! I’ve written here before how in comparison to darker-skinned women, I feel like a blotchy, pale potato. The fact that darker skin is considered ‘undesirable’ in some countries blows my mind. To have skin like Lupita, which literally glows with good health, seems to me a million times more desirable than to be a blotchy pale person living in the skin cancer capital of the world (Australia).

      The human race is nuts!

  20. taxi says:

    Just as some “people of color” face prejudice within their own color spectrum as some of you have stated, people “without color” are teased & taunted because they are too pale. Caucasian albino twins I knew were, by other caucasians. I was called, among other even less flattering names, Milk, Moontan, Snowball & teased for wearing “birds**t” (ZO2) & having swimming lessons with Tshirts over my bathing suits. Growing up in a beach resort community and never having any tan was so uncool. Conversely, I now see some Asian women wearing clear plastic face shields which I thought were to prevent germ exposure. Wrong. My (Chinese) dermatologist says it’s to help avoid any skin darkening from ambient sunlight.

    It’s important to recognize that prejudice based on skin color doesn’t necessarily come from those of different ethnicities. Think of skin color from the anthropological need for protective melanin based on geographic locations of our ancestors, so naturally Icelanders, i.e., have less color than people from areas nearer the equator. In rural Africa, albinos were protected by their tribemates who recognized their physical vulnerability to sun. It seems unfair to blame other races for all of our prejudices.

  21. bees says:

    My aunt gave me a skin lightening cream when I was 12. She came to my boarding and thought my skin looked “Too ashy and Dirty” I was only sunburned because I played football and knew nothing about sunscreen then.
    Her product of choice turned me into a multi colored nightmare and people called me fanta face and coke body. The stretch marks came later because my skin lost it’s elasticity due to the harsh chemicals. Anyway my mom found out and raised hell. I did not understand my mom’s rage because she is so light skinned and I wanted to be as beautiful as she. I was tired of being asked : “Is she your real mother?”

  22. Thunderthighs says:

    In my country right now, being light skinned is the rave. When Lupita was just starting out, especially when her MTV show Shuga came out, a lot, and I mean A LOT of people hated on her. They called her ugly and too dark-skinned to be successful. Months later, even when she’s made it in Hollywood, some people still make fun of her. The other day I saw a meme written ‘Lupita Nyong’o, giving the dark-skinned girls hope since 2013’… The thing is, it was actually meant in a derogatory manner! Some people still make fun of her, even now. A guy I know asked ‘So now we’re supposed to find Lupita hot because the white people have said she’s gorgeous?? She’s still ugly to me…’ In my country, to be considered beautiful, you must be light-skinned. To be successful, you must me light skinned. To get anywhere career-wise, you’d be better off if you were light-skinned. To get a man, you’d be better off light skinned. I see supermarket and pharmacy aisles dedicated to skin lightening creams… I’ve seen women damage their skin in the hopes of being lighter skinned. God help you if you’re dark skinned. Worse if you’re dark skinned and not rich. Worse yet, if you’re dark skinned, not rich AND fat. 🙁

  23. Dame Snarkweek says:

    Old phrase from the 40s/50s: if you’re white you’re alright. If you’re brown stick around. If you’re black stay back.disgusting.
    What is truly disgusting is how black women are always leeringly described with degrading descriptors such as brown sugar, coffee, honey, caramel, cafe au lait, cocoa etc etc. it is not charming. Black women I know agree that it is dehumanizing, condescending and unimaginative. Ugh.

    • LV says:

      That is a horrific and weird comment! (your quote from 40s/50s)
      I still read “I’m free, white and 21” which was a legitimate statement for a while since being non-white went hand-in-hand with bondage or limitations, but after awhile definitely became gross/inappopriate to use in an off-hand way.

    • FLORC says:

      Dame Snarkweek
      I know a few women that happily describe their color in food tones. I don’t get it either way. I don’t have an issue describing my color as olive when tanned and damn near translucent in winter.
      I might be missing something though. Or is it just a cultural/regional thing?

    • Dame Snarkweek says:

      In and of itself it sounds harmless. But when it is the only way others can describe you or when others refuse to describe you in any other way it is insulting. In college one of my sociology professors gave a symposium on the hijacking of the black female identity. It is a dichotomy, a sort of tragic dichotomy:
      1. White males identify black females as indulgences. Not equals but an exotic diversion.
      2. White women identify black females as hypersexualized competitors for male attention.
      3. Black men identify black females as arrogant and overbearing, suspiciously taking advantage of their non-threatening position in the white hierarchy.
      Now of course, these are categories of processes that reflect the most negatively engrained socioemotional perceptions of black females. And fortunately, the positive processes would take me an hour to write, so there seems to be more positive identifiers than negative. But the dismissive/patriarchal/objectifying behaviors are still alive and well.
      As for being described or referred to in this way, it reminds me of one of my best friend’s mom who will fly off the handle if a male calls her sweetie, sweetheart, muffin, cookie, honey, cupcake, sugar pie etc. and it is worse in the south where everyone has a sweet tooth, lol.

      • Penny says:

        @ Dame Snarkweek. I absolutely cringe in social or work situations where associates address me as “girl” or “girlfriend” or “sister/sista”. And it’s worse off if you know in mind their mind they think you’ve really connected.

      • Dame Snarkweek says:

        Ita. I recommend The Unwritten Rules on youtube. It is so true what the black main character has to go through at work. It will have you rolling with laughter and identifying with her in a major way.

      • Penny says:

        I’ll be sure to check it out, thanks.

  24. Oh La La says:

    I’m so pleased that she is using her platform to speak so eloquently about such an important taboo subject.

  25. LV says:

    I feel so bad for her. Sometimes, with the suicides due to bullying that occur among teens (ok I read the Daily Mail a lot..) I notice the girls who are victims are very pretty – this may be the case with Lupita, where there was a ton of jealousy over her looks and her tormentors zeroed in on the one area they felt she was vulnerable.
    I do notice her face seems to be made up a little lighter than her body – I mean her skin is glowing and she looks spectacular, but I wonder if she has issues with finding a good makeup artist in Hollywood where they are (lets say..) not used to variety.
    My personal opinion – Black is Beautiful. I am a white woman late 20s and I used to work with a black woman who was a grandmother in her 50s and had the most exquisite skin ever – my face is already crumpling like a piece of copy paper. So, I feel Black girls are LUCKY to have that skin!

    • Penny says:

      Thank you, LV, “…pretty…jealous…zero in where they think she is vulnerable”. This is my husband’s theory about the antagonism I receive from my light skinned and white counterparts in the workplace and other situations. I bend over backward to be humble and non-threatening, but oftentimes co-workers feel threatened or jealous b/c a) They struggle with weight but I don’t b) I’m happily married with a handsome, loving, sweet husband who is white (I’m dark) – and I find white women try and actively hide their territoriality over white men c) I get things done faster, with the bright ideas d) I’m younger but happen to hold a Masters whereas most peers have a BA or less – where for what they lack in education are likely to compensate in experience, although I have experience too e) I’m very optimistic & helpful so I’m usually not spewing hate and looking to bring others down no matter how unkind they are to me – so I’ve got more class. I guess all those factors invite antagonism from others who are insecure and are all about the schadenfreude.

  26. Musi says:

    This is so sad. In India the darker skin is discriminated against so much that they tend to bleaching. You need to be on the light side to make it anywHere especially to be on tv and Bollywood. I hope little girls growing up will have people their shades doing extraordinary things around the world to inspire them to confident in who they are.

  27. Robin says:

    I can relate to feeling “different” due to having a darker skin tone. Luckily, I was raised in Germany and was never truly made to feel different. I only felt that difference when I came over to America. I was raised by a stronger dark-skinned woman who let me know I was beautiful regardless. It is sad that in this day and age people still feel that having a darker pigment makes you less valuable in society’s standards of “beauty”. I am so glad for women like Miss Wek and Lupita who are darker women and so beautiful and graceful.

  28. Wren33 says:

    My heart breaks for young Lupita. Being white I have no experience with longing to be lighter, but I so know that feeling of praying and longing for something with all your heart that you know is never going to happen yet you hold out some small corner of hope that somehow magically it will. The world can be so cruel and I am happy she has found herself.

  29. Gefeylich says:

    Lupita is not going to win (Academy voters love JLaw too much), but I love that she’s been front & center on all the red carpets AND that she’s so honest about her self-esteem issues being tied in with skin tone. This is rampant in Latino cultures, too and everyone needs to talk about it, because it sucks. White is NOT the standard of beauty amongst people with true intelligence and discernment.

  30. Adrien says:

    My one prayer to God is to make me look like Lupita (or Rihanna). Ugh, she’s so perfect, I’m crying.

  31. Naddie says:

    Lupita is a role model for me, definetly. I’m white, but my hair is curly, and I used to feel so ugly when I was a kid, because there was no midia’s effort to show curly haired women in their comercials, films, or cartoons. And no, people don’t get a white chick who doesn’t have straight hair.

  32. Karen says:

    Yes, but the crop tops have got to go.

  33. Humanid says:

    She’s ugly..

    Before calling me racist, you should realize everyone got their own taste

    • Arlene says:

      I don’t think anyone was going to call you racist, though perhaps mean-spirited and childish would suit.

    • AlmondJoy says:

      Not racist. Just rude and insensitive.

    • Penny says:

      It would be racist if you think just being black makes her ugly. I’ve heard people say white people just don’t think black can be beautifial or more specifically, “pretty”.

    • Katja says:

      There was no reason to say that other than to stir up shit. Clearly you wanted to be called racist so you could argue it down, but in the end your preemptive defensiveness is telling. Not to mention offensiveness – “losers” and “ugly,” apropos of absolutely nothing, speak volumes about your maturity and purpose.

    • Gorgonia says:

      Not a racist, maybe, but a cheap and predictable flamer, yes

  34. MsDtown says:

    I am so happy she mentioned Alek Wek. I always thought she was such a striking beauty. I never thought she got the acknowledgement she deserved. Now, Lupita is just as gorgeous and paying homage to the cocoa-goddess trailblazers before her. #loveit #beautifulspirit

    • Gorgonia says:

      IMHO, Lupita and Alek Wek are that kind of lucky women who always look naturally elegant, even when they wear a mop or a dust rag. You can find women like this in every country or culture, and obviosly they can be fair skinned or dark skinned and every “nuance”. I’m thinking about Audrey Hepburn, Iman Abdulmajid, Silvana Mangano, Gong Li, Isabella Rossellini , Ines Pellegrini and many others. The common thing between them is that they seem not make efforts to look goddess-like.

  35. Anne de Vries says:

    She is stunning and I adore her. That said, from a distance that outfit looks like she’s been pixellated to preserve her modesty. I’m no fan of bared midriffs (so 90s, jeez) but the pixellation effect is just weird.

  36. Sal says:

    Such a heartbreaking story. I’m glad she now feels comfortable with who she is. She appears to be beautiful on the inside, just as she is on the outside.

  37. Gorgonia says:

    I have a very fair skin, which is not so usual for a italian woman. I don’t tan easily and I have to take care a lot to not burn my skin and not to fill it with dark spots, so, when I was younger, I was often teased about the fact I was pretty “white” in the middle of the summer, when all my friends became pretty “chocolate”. Obviously, I didn’t feel so pressured as dark skinned people in USA or in Far East, but sometimes it was pretty annoying: I liked my skin and I was not going to force it to an innatural tanning, even if most of people, in Italy, seemed to think “extremely tanned is beautiful”, especially during the ’80 and the ’90. All this to say that women have to answer “f..k off” to any clichès regarding beauty and, possibly, throw the beauty magazines in the garbage.

    • Penny says:

      Gorgonia – I think the images we see are responsible for our perceptions to some extent. In Psychology, the term “heuristic bias” makes us believe there is a false sense of prevalence of something that we personally encounter. If you are only bombarded with leggy models upheld beauties that will be the standard that you measure yourself. But if short legged models all of a sudden become the rave, I bet the leggy gals would have a complex. Whatever is touted becomes the yardstick for beauty which we measure ourselves… So reprogramming maybe a plausible solution for our beauty ideal standards.

      • Gorgonia says:

        I agree. But the matter of the fact is women have been subdued by beauty cliches from Cleopatra age until now. In Italy, during the ’50, curvy meant beautiful: my mother who was tall and slender had a complex about it. Nowadays is the opposite. The most women reject to follow stereotypes about beauty, the better: they are traps made to keep us in a minor place.

      • Penny says:

        Until then people who don’t fit the ideal profile are subjected to back handed compliments when perceived as beautiful. In your mom’s case I bet she was told that she was attractive inspite of her perceived deficiencies. I’ve heard, ” wow, you have good features even if you’re dark” and ” being dark didn’t affect you at all”. I think the word I’m looking for are micro aggressions, where people say something blatantly offensive toward your outward appearance in relation to a quality associated with your appearance, i.e., assuming you are a mathematical genius if you are Asian.

  38. Jaded says:

    Can we discuss the great undiscussible issue here of Beyoncé? Over time she’s lightened her skin, uses blonde extensions and has had plastic surgery to give her a pert little nose. How is she perceived as a role model for black women? Why is she revered by so many young girls as someone to emulate? She appears in hair colour commercials with blonde hair. She’s a black woman who has lightened her skin, uses nothing but fake hair, and modified her facial features to look more refined. She should be embracing her black womanhood, but instead she changes her looks to appear more “white”. Sad.

    • Kaylah says:

      How is Beyonce the greater issue here? Beyonce has always been pale, in the earlier days she lived in Texas so obviously she had a tan as time went on she slathered herself in bronzer and tanned all the time. Her nose still looks the same to me. It’s so funny to me how Beyonce doesn’t like being black because of her blonde when both Mary J. Blidge & Nene Leakes have both consistently had super blonde hair for as long as they’ve been out.

      Lupita’s story is so moving. It’s so sad that even after the white vs black discrimination you have light skin black vs darker skin blacks, then you have good hair vs nappy/kinky hair. There are so many young girls who feel ugly because of their skin. Especially in countries like Ghana, Kenya, Cameroon etc places where if you’re light skinned you’re immediately revered as this deity. I can’t even begin to count how many extremely un talented actors/musicians who have been given an opportunity to make music or movies just because of their skin while the darker skinned people never make it.

  39. annebeth66 says:

    I wish with all my heart that women would look at themselves and feel happy with what they see. As a mixed race Black woman I refuse to embrace the stereotype that I am less than someone else based on skin color, hair texture, height, weight, eye-color etc. I am one-of-a-kind and no one else in the history of Planet Earth, will be exactly like me. My life, is my time to impact this world and I am so happy to have that opportunity, to be a positive force. There is something beautiful about each and every woman. Never put yourself down, boost yourself up and let the world experience everything you have to offer.