Once upon a time, there was a young girl with ebony skin. She hated it. She hated it so much that she prayed to God every night, wishing on stars that she’d wake up lighter. She wouldn’t even look into a mirror because she knew her wish didn’t come true.
Feeling hopeless, she decided she would just have to deal with it. The little girl grew up, transforming into a young woman. That young woman was
Luperella. Scratch that; that’s corny. Her name was Lupita.
Source: Getty / Lester Cohen
Okay, back to today’s vernacular.
As you all may know, Lupita Nyong’o won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress!!! I didn’t get to watch the award show, but I received so many texts about it and immediately had to watch her “thank you” speech online. If you haven’t ever heard her speak, NOW’S the time. Seriously. She speaks so eloquently and with such grace. Her speech was so humble, so inspiring. I even teared up a bit. Me. Tearing up!
I was with my best friend, Claire, at the time. We were watching the video while batting our lashes, fanning our faces so the tears wouldn’t fall. We looked at each other and we were like, “wait, why are we crying?!” I was thinking about it and discovered why.
Lupita is our Cinderella. She struggled long and hard to “find” her perfect shoe her whole life. (But in this case, we’ll call it the perfect dress.) She dabbled in this, dabbled in that and nailed basically everything she touched, but finally got her big break in 12 Years a Slave.
Once she stopped wishing, she was able to find the beauty in her “inadequacy”. She began to embrace how she looked when she saw supermodel Alek Wek on the top of magazines, strutting her stuff on runways and hearing everyone talk about how beautiful she was. That’s when she got a new “spring” in her step. She discovered a fresh confidence.
Lupita realized the world was watching. She noticed we were watching. That’s why I recognized that though Lupita’s wish wasn’t granted, her fairy godmother was us. It is us – our belief in her beauty, our astonishment in her style, our hope in her success.
We’ve seen Lupita go from dress to dress and event to event, impeccably nailing each and every single look. However, last night, our Cinderella found her perfectly tailored gown – with Oscar in hand. *diva snaps*
Sidebar 1: Jared Leto = Prince Charming?
Haha just kidding!
Sidebar #2: Did you guys realize that the orchestra played a song from the soundtrack of Cinderella as she walked off off the stage…or was it just me? Actually…you know what? Just watch her acceptance speech here.
“When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every little child that no matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid. Thank you.” – Lupita Nyong’o
You hear that, people?! Spoken from the princess herself – your dreams are VALID.
I would say “The End”, but I know with Lupita’s drive, her story’s more like: “To be Continued…”