LUPITA NYONG'O ON BEAUTY

If there's a celebrity bandwagon worth jumping on, it's that of Lupita Nyong'o. The Oscar-winning actress is the kind young, stunningly beautiful intellectual that America has needed to fall in love with for a long time. Remember the days when people like Truman Capote and Gore Vidal were held up alongside the most glittering famous figures? Seeing Nyong'o gracing television screens and magazine pages gives me hope that it's possible to return to a glorification of the smart along with the beautiful.

No, Nyong'o isn't an author. Her background is all drama.* But, unlike the norm in our current celebrity culture, she does not tuck her intellectual side away for the camera. Fans are falling all over themselves to see and listen to an accomplished, gorgeous black woman, and so far (though I live in a bubble) I have yet to hear anyone use degradation-laced accolades such as "articulate" when referring to her. 

If you haven't fallen in love with Nyong'o yet (I think you must be crazy!), here is a video that may melt your reserve--especially if you were ever a young girl who thought that beauty was an unattainable lifesaver in an ocean of insecurity. This is Nyong'o speaking at Essence Magazine's Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon, where she was given the Best Breakthrough Performance Award. Get a tissue before you watch.

*master's degree from Yale, B.A. from Hampshire College, production work in Hollywood, a role in a short film, another in a Kneyan TV series are under her belt--plus she directed and produced a documentary film called "In My Genes