Nyong'o: My Skin Was 'Obstacle'

While accepting the award for breakout performance at an Essence event, Oscar-nominated actress Lupita Nyong'o brought the room to tears with an emotional speech about how she wished for lighter skin as a child. "I got teased and taunted about my skin. My one prayer to God was that I would wake up lighter skinned. The morning would come and I would be so excited about seeing my new skin that I would refuse to look down at myself until I was in front of the mirror because I wanted to see my face first. Every day I would feel the disappointment of being just as dark as the day before." It wasn't until she saw supermodel Alek Wek that Nyong'o no longer saw it as an “obstacle.” Nyong'o said she hopes that her face will have a similar effect on young women around the world.