BEVERLY HILLS, CA – FEBRUARY 27: Actress Lupita Nyong’o attends the 7th annual ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood luncheon at Beverly Hills Hotel on February 27, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic) | Jason LaVeris via Getty Images
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — There wasn’t a dry eye in the house Thursday when Lupita Nyong’o delivered an emotional speech while accepting her honor for best breakout performance at Essence magazine’s seventh annual Women in Hollywood luncheon.
The “12 Years a Slave” star and Oscar nominee for best supporting actress confessed that as a young girl, she had wished her dark-hued skin would become lighter.
“I got teased and taunted about my skin,” Nyong’o began, on stage in a ballroom at the Beverly Hills Hotel. “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.”