Actress Lupita Nyong’o, who burst onto the scene with her heartbreaking performance in 12 Years A Slave, has been named Woman of the Year by Glamour.
Detailing her rise to stardom, the magazine shares a candid interview with the gorgeous Kenyan star, praising her beauty, talent and fierce intelligence. But despite her incredible poise, 31-year-old Lupita admits she’s struggled with fame.
“I did have a dream to be an actress, but I didn't think about being famous,” she says. “And I haven't yet figured out how to be a celebrity; that's something I'm learning, and I wish there were a course on how to handle it.”
When asked about her role models growing up, the actress, who is currently dating Canadian rapper K’naan, cites Oprah as one of her heroes.
“I wouldn't even call her a role model; she was literally a reference point,” she says. “You have the dictionary, you have the Bible, you have Oprah.”
Aside from her stunning good looks (she’s the face of Lancôme Paris) and her exceptional talents (she’s a Yale Drama Studies graduate as well as a filmmaker), she's often touted as a role model for young women and young black girls in particular.
“European standards of beauty are something that plague the entire world — the idea that darker skin is not beautiful, that light skin is the key to success and love,” she says, while insisting there is much more to being beautiful than just good genes.
“I think beauty is an expression of love,” she says, adding, “You’re a pretty face — and then what? Your value is in yourself; the other stuff will come and go. We don't get to pick the genes we want. There's room in this world for beauty to be diverse."