Lupita Nyong’o is absolute #goals!
I started following this stylish bombshell after she appeared in the critically-acclaimed film 12 Years A Slave. After receiving endless awards and praise for her gut-wrenching role as the tortured, yet resilient, slave girl simply known as ‘Patsy’, she was literally everywhere! The motion picture, itself, was an in-your-face reminder of America’s darkest era and, although it was hinged on the basis of pain, fear and hatred – Lupita’s memorable performance was forever engrained within the minds and hearts of audiences throughout the world. And, I too, was held captive.
In a little under a month, I evolved into a Lupita superfan: I purchased nearly every magazine, publication, feature and interview that I could get my hands on, I studied her impeccable red carpet style, I educated myself on who she was, where she was from and how she managed to blossom into this world class thespian. But, in the midst of all my prolonged fandom, I soon realized that this woman was breaking down MAJOR barriers within the fashion industry. With her flawless obsidian complexion, her low-cut, coily coif and her exotic appeal, Lupita soon transformed into our nation’s sweetheart. Black women, like myself, rejoiced to the heavens because we’d finally discovered a cover girl who looked exactly like us. And, that was a pretty big deal.
Fast forward to the present day, Lupita has graced a total of three American VOGUE covers and her enigmatic appeal has transcended throughout countless fashion, beauty, lifestyle and culture brands. Yet, it was her 3rd VOGUE feature that felt more natural, less forced and, since spying the color-drenched images roll down my Instagram timeline, the unparalleled beauty of the shots have continued to resonate within my mind over and over again. The historic spread was shot by the iconic Mario Testino for the October 2016 issue at her family’s small farm in Kenya, where Lupita lived for a small part of her childhood. Throughout the spread, the gorgeous actress is thrust into the world’s most charismatic backdrops that boast intimate moped rides through the tropical terrain and calendar-worthy mountain views; in addition, Lupita also slays in the style department as she rocks the likes of the finest couture including Duro Olowu, Chanel and Chloe.
True story: My immediate reaction was reminiscent of my New York Fashion Week experience of (finally) meeting the incomparable fashion powerhouse Shiona Turini. I was shaking, nervous, suffering from slight palpitations, enthused with overwhelming joy and held in complete awe – all within the same moment. Crazy, right?
But, that’s the glory that lies within the interpretation of art. While others may pass it off as “cute” or “nice”, there are a select few who will truly understand the meaning behind it all. Now, you may be begging the question, “And, why is this significant? They’re just pictures!” Whelp, to you, they may be mere ‘pictures’ in a fashion highly-revered fashion magazine but, to me, this spread is a culmination of centuries of oppression scattered to the winds. This spread is a celebration of embracing your roots. This spread is a reckoning that the power of #BlackGirlMagic has permeated the mainstream American culture, or at least banged a hard enough to produce a few cracks…
Lupita Nyongo’s astute grace, poise and sheer elegance have allowed her to sashay her way into the hearts of millions and this editorial is proof that she is much deeper than her resounding Oscar award acceptance speech. Her story is a struggle that has raged on for generations and she is the perfect role model for young, African-American girls across the world. She’s not your typical “it girl” nor does she rely on a gimmick to maintain her Tinseltown grandeur but, with an undeniable talent, an unwavering work ethic and a personality that lights up any room, Lupita has officially arrived. She’s taken her towering platform and made magnificent strides to ensure that her journey is the blueprint for future Black icons in-the-making.
And, you can’t tell me that’s not a big deal.