Folks who know me, know I love Lupita Nyong’o. The actress made her debut in the 2013 film 12 Years a Slave. Nyong’o won an Oscar for her performance as Patsey. Since that time, she has appeared in several films, including this year’s Black Panther. In Panther, Nyong’o sizzled. Her dark skin shimmered on-screen and her kinky locs bounced with determination. When she strutted around in that green dress, I almost stood up and applauded.
While I admire Nyong’o’s acting, I must admit, I’m obsessed with her fashion/beauty. It’s rare to see a dark Black woman praised in mainstream media. Usually dark Black women’s skin is used to play into stereotypes/negative connotations. I will never forget when the casting call for ‘Straight Outta Compton’ was made public. The “D” girl roles were geared towards dark-skinned Black women. The characteristics that they were looking for included being “poor, out of shape.” It was a limited way of thinking about poor/working class dark Black women.
Gatwech is so fly to me. I love when she wears splashy eyeshadow (I’m the eyeshadow queen), and neon colored lipstick. As dark-skinned women know, we are often told not to wear bright anything. However, we have kicked that colorist nonsense to the curb. I’m going to wear orange, yellow, green, torquise…and I dare you to say anything to me.
As I’ve shared, I’m a reader of Divine Dark Skin. I’ve been learning about upcoming dark-skinned women, and gaining some greatstyling tips. It’s empowering to have a space that centers the voice/experiences of dark Black women. It’s a shift that’s been a long time in the making.
My girl crushes Michonne and Patsey are on the cover ofUptown Magazine. Or maybe I should use their real names. Danai Gurira (“The Walking Dead”) and Lupita Nyong’o (“12 Years a Slave”) have made history. It’s the first time a Broadway play has had an all female cast/writer/director. Go head ladies!! What a great way to end the week. Black women doing big things.
I don’t give a damn about the Star Wars movie. It’s odd considering I love all things science fiction. While I liked the original Star Wars films, the new ones haven’t really peaked my interest. Even knowing my girl crush Lupita Nyong’o will be in the latest film, isn’t enough to propel me to the nearest theater. However, I came across a great read that features the lovely actress. In the article “Lupita Nyong’o: ‘Under the makeup, Star Wars is just human wants and desires,'” Nyong’o talks about growing up privileged, her personal connection to the character of Patsey from “12 Years a Slave,” and her new off-Broadway play.
Nyong’o sure knows how to take gorgeous pictures. I wish her well in the Star Wars franchise.
Since being nominated for an Academy Award in 2008, Henson’s career has seemed to be a rollercoaster of ups and downs. Nothing significant has taken off for her. But this can be said for the majority of Oscar-nominated/winning Black women actresses. Unlike their white female counterparts, they tend to struggle. There’s been hope for Viola Davis (nominated for Academy Awards for her performances in “Doubt” and “The Help) and Lupita Nyong’o (Academy Award winner for her role as Patsey in “12 Years a Slave”). Davis is currently starring on the hit show “How To Get Away With Murder” and Nyong’o is slated to star in an adaption of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie‘s “Americanah,” “Star Wars: Episode 7,” and “The Jungle Book.”
Henson’s acting is definitely on caliber with these women, so it’s surprising she hasn’t had her own big breakout opportunity. She may have found it in “Empire.”“A unique family drama set in the world of a hip hop empire.” –http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3228904/
I watched “Empire” on Hulu this past weekend. I thought it was okay. Also, I’m a bit turned off with Terrance Howard these days. I used to think he was a great actor, but he comes across as one-note these days. And it doesn’t help that he seems to have misogynistic feelings about women/allegations of abuse. But Henson did bring the heat with her “Cookie” character. She really is the star of the show.
There’s been criticism that “Empire” feeds into stereotypes about black folks. Well, of course it does, it’s on the FOX Network. But I also think “Empire” is just trying to capitalize on the current adult drama craze that mixes thriller/sex/murder/power/vengeance that can be found in shows like “How to Get Away with Murder,” “Scandal,” “Revenge,” “Deception,” etc.
Besides side-eyeing Howard, I’ve also been side-eyeing some of the comments made by one of the creators of the show…Lee Daniels. One of his goals with the show is to address homophobia in the hip hop community. Okay, cool. But his rhetoric has basically been that the black community is more homophobic than other communities, which is not true. If that were the case, white LGBTQI folks would have wonderful coming out stories, which they don’t. The issue of homophobia is a problem in all communities.
It will be interesting to see where the “Empire” storyline goes. If it will even survive a season. It’s all over the map, right now. Henson deserves so much more, so hopefully it works out for her.
Yes! My girl crush Lupita Nyong’o is the new face ofLancôme cosmetics. I thought Lancôme products went no darker than beige, so it’s good to know they can promote a dark-skinned black woman:
“Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o’s breakout year just keeps getting better. The 31-year-old actress is the new face of Lancôme cosmetics, becoming the first black ambassador for the French luxury brand. I am truly honored to join the Maison Lancôme, a brand with such a prestigious history that I have always loved. I am particularly proud to represent its unique vision for women and the idea that beauty should not be dictated, but should instead be an expression of a woman’s freedom to be herself,” Nyong’o said in a statement.”http://time.com/49612/lupita-nyongo-becomes-new-face-of-lancome/
This is a good move for Ms. Lupita. She has shown that darker skinned black women can werk glamorous makeup too. Dark skinned black women tend to be “warned” away from wearing certain colors. Lupita laughed in the face of folks ignorance. It’s one of the reasons why I love her. I wish her well on her new adventure! 🙂
Double Meh. I understand the Oscars likes when folks play out of character/villains even. Denzel Washington has played some wonderful characters over his 20 year career (including Malcolm X), and yet he won an Oscar for the role of a corrupt cop.
I don’t begrudge these folks wins. As actresses/actors, I’m sure it’s an honor to win an Oscar, no matter what. It represents the highest level of achievement in their field. I just hope the future will bring diverse wins for black folks. 75 years from now, I don’t want a little black girl being happy that a black woman won for portraying a slave. But I ain’t holding my breath.
Speaking of the fascinating Lupita Nyong’o, she gave an amazing performance in “12 Years a Slave.” I can see why she is getting major Oscar buzz. It took me a minute to see this film..I was very excited when I first heard about it. But as usual, I got busy and had to put it on the back burner. I also had mixed emotions about seeing the film after reading a scathing review about it (Armond White’s “Dud of the Week: 12 Years a Slave”). I think he just recently heckled the director…lol.
I understand where he was coming from
The portrayal of slavery in films can be a very thin line. Of course, you want the violence/brutality shown, as it was the reality of being a slave under white supremacy. But, when does it goes from showing truth to just becoming exploitative/ torture porn? Black women’s bodies are always degraded in the media. We are constantly mocked, abused, beaten, and battered. I understand that it was important to show what happened to black women during slavery via the character Patsy (played by Nyong’o).
Actually, what I loved about the film was that is showed white women were just as culpable/cruel slave masters. I loved those parts of the film, as many white feminists like to create revisionary history of an imagery sisterhood between black women and white women during slavery (rolls eyes). So, much props for the director showing that. BUT, I did feel uncomfortable that the main black female character was only portrayed as beaten victim. I am still waiting patiently for the film that shows the rebellion of black women slaves (e.g. Harriet Tubman). And for God’s sake, please don’t let that goofball/black woman-hater Russell Simmonsdirect it. Blah….
Otherwise, I recommend this film just on the fact it did try to show day-to-day life of being a slave. I liked that it showed the monotony of slavery. You woke up, picked cotton, probably got abused in some kind of way, got feed scraps, and went to bed. You woke up and did it all over again the next day. For the rest of your life. Damn. Black folks must never forget this, and always give honor to our ancestors who suffered for us to be here.