Lupita is Beautiful, but Black BEEN Beautiful


I love Lupita Nyong’o. I do. But I am uncomfortable with her image.

Every time I see her, my heart smiles the same way it did in 1997 when I stood in the checkout line at the Winn Dixie on South Claiborne Avenue in Uptown New Orleans and saw Alek Wek’s image for the very first time, on the cover of Elle magazine no less. In that moment, it felt like Alek and I were the only women of *that* complexion in the entire city of New Orleans. Tears in my eyes, I bought every single copy on the stand. Growing up, I never – and I do mean NEVER – saw anyone who looked anything like me on the cover of any magazine that had anything to do with beauty. Ever. Not even on Black magazines. Especially not on Black magazines. It felt like our time had come. Finally.

Read in full at Pretty. Period.