Lupita Nyong’o graces the cover of InStyle magazine and opens up about the Hollywood diversity controversy, the so-called Oscars curse, why she decided to shave her head and more. As always, the Oscar-winning actress lives up to her fashion icon status in an alluring photo shoot.
The 33-year-old Kenyan actress, a graduate of the Yale School of Drama, rose to international fame, with her searing portrayal of a slave in Steve McQueen’s ’12 Years a Slave’ two years ago. And, along with sweeping countless awards Oscar, Golden Globe, SAG, and numerous critics’ awards, she also became a style icon, and was honored as People magazine’s Most Beautiful Woman. Not to mention gracing the cover of Vogue magazine not once, but twice.
Now, in this current climate that saw the 88th Oscars and the #OscarsSoWhite diversity controversy, she opens up on the topic and tells InStyle magazine, “”It’s a disappointment that the nominations this year have not reflected some of the work of people of color, and I hope this moment helps fuel that conversation.”
Elaborating, she said, “There is a real imbalance, from the very creation of the stories and who’s telling them, how, and why. Change has to happen with the writers, the studio, the marketers, the directors. That’s got to be diversified because there is a hunger for the expansion of the role of people of color in the center of narratives.”
She also opened up about the so-called Oscars curse that has seen many who have won the coveted Best Supporting Actress award see their careers flounder. While arguably that’s not the case with her — she was a memorable part of the ensemble cast of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ and is now making her Broadway debut in ‘Eclipsed’ — she did weigh in on the topic, saying, “Right after the Oscars, I had no idea what I was going to do next. Zero clue.”
Continuing, she added, “There’s a part of me that thought my life would go back to normal. Like at school. But it didn’t. I did not get out of that unscathed, you know?” And she went on to note, the plight of some who have won the famed statuette, saying, “They go on to appear in bomb after bomb after bomb.
And turning the conversation to physical appearance and beauty she was quite candid on her decision to shave her head and told the fashion mag, “I wasn’t sure if I could pull off [the bald look]. Because hair is the frame of the face, right? And we spend so much time on it, trying to get it perfect. It often defines one’s beauty and feminine value.”
She went on to explain how and why she took the risk, saying, ” Almost on a whim, I was like, ‘What if I didn’t have it?’ And so I shaved it all off—I was a complete baldy! It was shocking at first, especially for my mom. But I learned to embrace my features. And I like myself a lot more now that I’m not constantly fussing over my hair.”
And, as we say, the rest is history, style icon history! But she reveals that it’s not just in matters of fashion that she finds the courage live out intentions and dreams. She said, “Both my parents raised me to pursue the things that make me feel most alive—what you feel called to do—because that’s how you can have the most effect.” She went on to say, “That allowed me to get passionate about something that can sometimes seem as inconsequential as acting and then find important things to do with it.”
You can see Lupita Nyong’o’s InStyle magazine cover photo below. See more excerpts from the interview and the rest of the photos here.
Pictures: PR Photos