Lupita Nyong’o looks absolutely radiant in a portrait shot by Mario Testino for the cover of VOGUE’s October 2016 issue. In the image, Lupita wears a lavishly embroidered and embellished floral-print Chanel dress in warm autumnal hues paired with a delicate pair of Cathy Waterman drop earrings, and a rich purple gele.
Inside, the Oscar winner gets real about society’s warped beauty standards, saying, “The European sense of beauty affects us all. I came home from college in the early two-thousands and saw ads on TV with a girl who can’t get a job. She uses this product. She gets her skin lighter. She gets the job. The lording of lighter skin is a common thing growing up in Nairobi. Being called ‘black mamba.’ The slow burn of recognizing something else is better than you.” But it was not until she saw South Sudanese model Alek Wek, who she said was “dark as night” and “looked so much like me,” that she realized beauty doesn’t have to look like the industry’s status quo: “I cannot run away from who I am.”
“Alek Wek changed how dark people saw themselves,” she added. That I could do the same in a way for somebody somewhere is amazing. There is no point in getting your picture taken if it doesn’t move somebody. Right?” When discussing her new film, she concluded, “Being able to use my platform to expand and diversify the African voice, I feel very passionate about that. It feels intentional, meaningful.”
You can see Lupita in the upcoming Drama ‘Queen Of Katwe’ which hits theaters on September 23rd. The October 2016 issue of VOGUE is available on newsstands now.