Many people's first introduction to Lupita Nyong'o was through her Academy Award-winning role in 12 Years a Slave and the impactful speech she gave on inclusivity and beauty standards while collecting her statue. This significant moment was a turning point in Hollywood. But as it turns out, the sentiment was classic Lupita. Because, as the actress shared in an interview with InStyle this week, she’s been championing women’s empowerment and challenging beauty standards since she was a kid.
Recalling her experience at an all-boys high school, in which there were only a handful of girls, she told the publication, “There was an archaic rule that said that girls could not wear makeup to school. I was angry that the powers that be were trying to basically oppress and control the small female population." It was something that incensed her to the point of starting a petition.
“I said to myself, ‘Look, if a woman wants to wear makeup to school to feel confident in an environment where she’s a minority, why not? It doesn’t actually change whether or not she’s able to take in the information being given to her in the classroom,’” she continued. Never mind the fact that a teen Nyong'o didn’t care to wear makeup herself — it was just about standing up for what was right.
Now, the actress embraces the same philosophy she fought for in high school, and further shows it by serving up a steady stream of pin-worthy beauty looks. “For me in my life now, I think makeup has become an accessory,” she told InStyle. “It’s something that I enjoy. It’s not the thing I rely on to feel beautiful, and I hope that a lot of women feel the same. Makeup is something that can accessorize, just as much as a hat or a pair of earrings. It adds to the reflection of your own beauty.” Never change, Lupita, never change.