After watching this year’s Oscars it’s safe to say that practically everyone has a new #WomanCrushWednesday! Lupita Nyong’o is the gorgeous actress that we are all raving about, but how exactly did she become one of the most prominent ladies in Hollywood in just the blink of an eye? Well, as it turns out it is a combination of various reasons:
According to New York Magazine, after seeing over a thousand actors for the Role of Patsey in “12 Years a Slave,” Nyong’o’s audition tape took director Steve McQueen by surprise. “I just kind of rubbed my eyes in disbelief and needed someone else to confirm what I was seeing,” he said. He then showed the tape to his 14-year-old daughter who said: “Wow. Who is she?” During an interview with Vulture Nyong’o explains that she was cast for the award-winning film about three weeks before graduating an MFA program at Yale in 2012.
Upon release, “12 Years a Slave” caused so much buzz that it quickly escalated to be one of the best films of 2013. This status in turn, allowed the world to truly appreciate Nyong’o’s aptitude for acting. “Nyong’o … is a spectacular young actress who imbues Patsey with grit and radiant grace,” stated Rolling Stone in their review of the film. Even with her talent, if the film had been a flop, the 31-year-old actress wouldn’t have gained as much recognition and rather than being an overnight sensation it would have taken her a couple of years to reach the stardom level that she is in right now.
Ethereal and fashion-forward beauty.
From the very first time that Nyong’o stepped onto a red carpet premiere back in August of last year, she has been grabbing the attention of audiences and fashion critics everywhere. Her dark skin, boyish haircut, cut arms and very little chest, are suddenly changing people’s perspective of beauty and fashion because it’s unconventional, and refreshing. She doesn’t hide her skin instead she emphasizes it by wearing bold in-your-face hues; she doesn’t hide her hair with a weave instead she keeps it simple, playful and natural; and she doesn’t hide her body instead she tastefully frames it by wearing various sleeveless and deep cut numbers that accentuate her arms and chest.
Check out this montage by Cosmo.
According to NY Magazine, Nyong’o, was born in Mexico where her father taught political science at the Colegio de México while hiding out after his brother disappeared back in Kenya. The publication adds that she was named Lupita (a diminutive for the Virgin of Guadalupe) because of a Kenyan tradition to name the child based on what is going on. “Every single Laundromat, grocery store, everything is called Lupita in Mexico,” she said. A year after her birth, the family moved back to Kenya, and according to The Courant, at the age of 16 her parents sent her back to Mexico to learn Spanish.
Instead of denying one or the other, she chooses to love both. “I have seen that they are fighting over my nationality, but I insist I am Mexican-Kenyan,” the actress said on the red carpet according to Fox News Latino.
This is a woman who not only radiates elegance and finesse, but at the same time humbleness and joy. Her speech at this year’s Oscars showed that fame has not gone to her head and that she understands that her success partly dependent on others. She gracefully thanked the film’s team, her family and even her character Patsey leaving many of us at home teary-eyed. Boy does that girl have a way with words!
Professional experience and education
Nyong’o may come from a family that is well off, but she has worked hard from a young age to get to where she is. According to NY Magazine, at 14 “Nyong’o was cast as Juliet for Kenya’s national repertory theater, Phoenix Players. USA Today adds that after earning a degree in film and African studies at Hampshire College she also produced, directed and starred in many film and television projects before going to Yale.
“In My Genes” is a short that she wrote, directed and produced in 2009.
The combination of these six characteristics is what has driven the media and audience mad with obsession, and why in a little more than a year she has gone from a no-name to known world-wide. She is a stunning, talented woman of color who is well educated, worldly, hard-working, ambitious and unpretentious; one of the few women in the business that girls should look up to, and that I personally now have as one of my role models.
What do you think of Lupita and her rapid rise to fame? Share your thoughts in the comments below.