April 22, 2014

You may recognize Hollywood’s latest “It-girl,” Lupita Nyong’o, from her award-winning role in “12 Years a Slave.” You may also recognize her from her new advertising deal with the cosmetics company Lancôme.

Nyong’o has gained much popularity in recent months due to her show-stopping looks on the red carpet as well as her statements encouraging other women with rich, dark complexions to see themselves as beautiful. It’s fitting, then, that the Oscar winner is the brand’s first ever Black model. She told WWD the following about her new deal with Lancôme.

 “What appealed to me about Lancôme is that they’re not dictating what beauty is.  Hopefully it’s a symbiotic relationship — that I benefit from being associated with them, and they benefit from being associated with me, as well. And for the consumer at large, I think Lancôme has a range of products for every woman, and I think having me will expand people’s understanding of, hopefully, what Lancôme stands for, who Lancôme is for.”

Nyong’o, of Kenyan and Mexican descent, hopes to expand the cosmetic industry’s traditional concept of beauty. Since Lancôme typically advertises with white models, most view her as a role model and revolutionary. Still, there are others who choose to throw harsh criticisms.

Specifically, Nigerian-Cameroonian pop star Dencia (and creator of the skin whitening cream Whitenicious) has called Nyong’o out on Twitter as a hypocrite for signing with a “white” cosmetics company. To read the full story on this feud, visit The Grio.

In our opinion, it’s hard not to love Lupita. Not only is she talented, but she’s also highly educated and committed to her craft. What’s more — she didn’t always see herself as the beautiful, poised woman she is. Read the WWD article to get her full story.

Posted In: Industry News