She’s at that level, right? I don’t even need to say her full name. Lupita Nyong’o is a beautiful name, but if I just say “Lupita”, you know who I’m talking about. Musicians do it—Cher, Beyonce, Madonna, Britney, Adele, Lorde—but there aren’t as many actresses who command the same single-name power. Audrey, Liz, Marilyn, Angelina, and now, Lupita. It’s an instant word association. What do you think of when you hear “Lupita”? I think—talented, poised, stylish, beautiful. Lupita makes an instant impression. Lupita is an indelible mark.

And now she’s Glamour’s Woman of the Year, and their reasoning is the same as mine—Lupita is an interesting, accomplished, intriguing woman. And we’ve all been a little anxious for her, hoping that she gets the same chances, post-Oscar, that Jennifer Lawrence did, and worrying that she won’t. But Lupita has had a good year. After the Oscar she landed parts in Star Wars Episode VII and The Jungle Book, and she’s developing an adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah along with Brad Pitt. Lupita also produces and directs—she can create her own opportunities.

The whole interview is worth a read, but the best part is when she, once again, calls out the exclusionary standards of beauty that still plague us. She’s so eloquent on the topic, and it’s so important that we keep having this conversation and talking about the ways in which representation is important. We need more diverse and inclusive representations of beauty, and Lupita, with her Lancôme contract in hand, is a good place to start. I can’t wait to see the next wave, the ones inspired by Lupita and her achievements. She cites Oprah as an inspiration—in ten, twenty, thirty years, who will be citing Lupita?

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