Justice

Lupita Nyong'o's Quote on the Cover of Vogue Has People Taking Notice

Actress Lupita Nyong'o is on the cover of Vogue for the third time in her career, but there's something very different about this cover that has people talking.

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Nyong'o, who in the past schooled the legendary fashion magazine when they mistakenly attributed her hairstyle to Audrey Hepburn, made a declaration that Vogue decided to put on the cover. And people are taking notice:

"I want to create opportunities for people of color."

Dionne's tweet highlights the issue many have with Vogue. From the magazine's creation in 1892 until 2012, Vogue magazine covers were 99 percent white, according to Complex. Since then, they've featured only a handful of women of color.

Which makes Nyong'o's cover quote all the more impactful — and a hopeful sign of change when it comes to whitewashing fashion magazine covers.

The Vogue interview.

In her interview with Vogue, Nyong'o was frank about her experience being a woman of color in Hollywood and what that means to her. She told the magazine:

"There are certain cards that have been dealt me that I take on. I want to create opportunities for other people of color because I’m fortunate enough to have a platform to do that."

She also described what it's like to be not only a black woman in her industry, but a black woman with dark skin. An awkward exchange between a talent agent is revealed:

"'Would Beyoncé be who she is if she didn’t look like she does?' asked a talent agent named Tracy Christian. 'Being lighter-skinned, more people can look at her image and see themselves in her. In Lupita’s case I think she has two-and-half, three years. If she can find a franchise, a big crossover film, or if she’s cast by a significant filmmaker, then she’s golden, she’ll have carved out a unique path for herself.

[...]

"'I have to deafen my ears to that Christian lady,' [Nyong'o] says, referring to the talent agent. "She is looking at me as part of the cultural tapestry.' She throws out her arms. 'I am living and breathing. That person is not considering what I had for breakfast, how that is sitting in my stomach, and why I didn’t do well with that audition.' She shakes her head. 'I can’t think like that.'

"There’s a silence. 'I cannot run away from who I am and my complexion or the larger society and how they may view that.' ..."