Natural Hair and Other Kinky Stuff

Lupita Amondi Nyong’o- For My Brown Girls

Tonight was for the brown girls, the dreamers, and the doers. We are all blessed when we honor our calling. Isn’t it funny that most of us didn’t know who Lupita was a year ago? What a difference a year can make. Don’t give up! There is a blessing to be had for all those who seek it.

That was my initial reaction following Lupita’s Oscar win. Like many sistas, I was overwhelming proud. This unapologetic, brown skin beauty is amazingly humble and talented. Her style makes me smile and her work ethic inspires me. Yet, there has been something else brewing in me since Lupita took home the Oscar. When I tuned out all the media buzz, her charming smile, and exceptional attire, I tuned into the color of her skin and the idea of the “color complex.”

Yes, I was proud that she won an Oscar but I was even more proud that she cradled the Oscar with dark brown hands.This may seem strange coming from someone is fair skin but let me explain. We, (people of color), DO NOT see enough positive images of black women and we rarely see darker skin women celebrated in the media.

I can not even estimate the number of times I heard things such as “she is pretty for a dark skin girl,” or count the number of articles I have read about the limited roles in Hollywood for brown skin girls. We live in a world that continually perpetuates self-hate among black people and propels the idea that “light” or “white” is superior.

I hope this monumental moment starts a new conversation. I hope that whatever brown girl is struggling with her color looks at Lupita and somehow recognizes the same beauty in herself. Of course, this  idea alone can not and will not solve all of the complex, color issues that are rampant in our society but it is a start.


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