Award winning actress Lupita Nyong’o has always shown her heartfelt advocacy against colorism and is continuing that trend in the next coming year. The starlet announced on Instagram that she will be publishing a children’s book for ages 5-7 that she hopes will inspire young dark skinned girls to love their skin.
The book entitled, ‘Sulwe’, which means “star” in Nyong’o’s native language, Luo, is a story about a little Kenyan girl who has the darkest complexion in her family and wishes to lighten her skin.
As described by Nyong’o; “Sulwe is a dark skinned girl who goes on a starry-eyed adventure, and awakens with a reimagined sense of beauty. She encounters lessons that we learn as children and spend our lives unlearning. This is a story for little ones, but no matter the age I hope it serves as an inspiration for everyone to walk with joy in their own skin.”
In 2014, Nyong’o gave a speech at the Essence Awards that will be memorable to dark skinned women worldwide. On stage, the actress reads a snippet of a letter she received from a woman who was moments from bleaching her skin until seeing Nyong’o on the big screen. The Black Panther actress then explains how she too, wished for lighter skin and even prayed for it until seeing a beautiful reflection of herself through model, Alek Wek.
Thereafter, the Kenyan beauty says she continued to struggle with self hate until finally reaching a place of inner peace and self acceptance. She concluded with telling other dark skinned women that she hopes her presence in the media will provide them with not only external beauty validation, but the understanding of inner beauty and fulfillment.
Nyong’o explained recently to The New York Times that after her powerful speech, she wanted to tap into a younger audience. She knew that a certain age group of girls would most likely never hear the speech or resonate with her words. This was the moment she decided that a colorism children’s book was necessary.
We are thankful that Lupita Nyong’o sees the importance of colorism activism and continues to use herself as a catalyst to aid dark skinned girls in loving their skin. She is a ‘sulwe’ indeed.