20/20

Love for Lupita

 It’s been four days since Lupita Nyong’o won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, much to the relief of those of us still shattered by her performance in Steven McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave—and those of us who are tired of JLaw’s “look at me, I’m a real girl, I curse and burp and fall” antics. Four blissful days to tearfully rewatch Lupita’s acceptance speech, remark on her incredible grace, and wonder how the hell it is that every color and fabric makes her skin so unbelievably radiant. 

To remark on her beauty is not to distract from her character, or from what was a moving and important speech—and a much-needed dose of reality during a three-hour show devoted to self-congratulation and Hollywood pomp and circumstance. Both she and McQueen were quick to acknowledge the painful reality of the subject of their film.

For months, all eyes have been on Lupita, eager to label her an It Girl, stick her on Best Dressed Lists, and talk about her on Fashion Police. And not that she doesn’t deserve to be celebrated in this way—but her significance, and the significance of the public’s celebration of her, stretches much further than her wardrobe which, admittedly, is dope.

As the first black African to win an Oscar, and the seventh black actress to win one, Lupita’s win represents more than just a rewarding of outstanding talent (which, let’s be real, the Oscars aren’t even about); it represents recognition. The racial politics of Hollywood and its award shows deserve a discussion all of their own—and a long one at that—but, they definitely come into play when the past two black actresses to win Oscars won them for playing a maid and a slave, respectively (Octavia Spencer won in 2011 for playing the help in The Help). So, to say that it’s refreshing to see a black woman winning an award may sound crass; but it comes in the same breath as the question: When are we going to see a black woman win an award for playing a character who isn’t, in one way or another, being oppressed?

None of this takes away from how affirmative it is to see Lupita riding this wave of popular approval, and being so graceful every step of the way. At the annual Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon, hosted by Essence magazine, she acknowledged that the lack of dark-skinned actresses in popular media convinced her, as a child, that she wasn’t beautiful.

Steering clear of fetishizing or exoticizing her—which is a very real concern in conversations to do with women of color and beauty—it only takes a brief scroll though Tumblr, a look at any of BuzzFeed’s lists devoted to her, or any of the pictures of Jared Leto gazing at her intensely to see that her beauty is pretty universally and very publicly acknowledged. And ultimately what’s at stake when we call her beautiful or give her an award is, for a lot of people, a much-needed validation. 

Correction: This article previously mistakenly stated that Dallas Buyer's Club actor Jared Leto failed to mention HIV/AIDS victims in his acceptance speech. The Eye regrets the error. 

Comments

Plain text

  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Anonymous posted on

Leto specifically mentioned the millions who have died of AIDS in his award and made a slightly less explicit reference to members of the LGBT community. Though I appreciate your opinion on Lupita, you should not unnecessarily dismiss others in order to make seem even better my comparison.

Eric Ingram posted on

does anyone else find it mildly disrespectful to refer to her by first name?

seo plugin posted on

Hello Web Admin, I noticed that your On-Page SEO is is missing a few factors, for one you do not use all three H tags in your post, also I notice that you are not using bold or italics properly in your SEO optimization. On-Page SEO means more now than ever since the new Google update: Panda. No longer are backlinks and simply pinging or sending out a RSS feed the key to getting Google PageRank or Alexa Rankings, You now NEED On-Page SEO. So what is good On-Page SEO?First your keyword must appear in the title.Then it must appear in the URL.You have to optimize your keyword and make sure that it has a nice keyword density of 3-5% in your article with relevant LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing). Then you should spread all H1,H2,H3 tags in your article.Your Keyword should appear in your first paragraph and in the last sentence of the page. You should have relevant usage of Bold and italics of your keyword.There should be one internal link to a page on your blog and you should have one image with an alt tag that has your keyword....wait there's even more Now what if i told you there was a simple Wordpress plugin that does all the On-Page SEO, and automatically for you? That's right AUTOMATICALLY, just watch this 4minute video for more information at. Seo Plugin
seo plugin http://www.SeoOptimizationTipz.com/