Lupita Nyong'o has been named People Magazine's Most Beautiful Person this year, trumping the likes of Jennifer Lawrence and Amber Heard.
The 31-year-old actress told People magazine that she grew up thinking that being beautiful means having "light skin and long, flowing, straight hair", adding "Subconsciously you start to appreciate those things more than what you possess."
Nyong'o has had a big year so far, having won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in 12 Years A Slave. Despite her success, she confessed that her confidence was hard-earned.
Speaking at a luncheon for Black Women in Hollywood in February, Nyong'o opened up about her struggle with low self-esteem and being bullied about her dark skin.
"I could never have guessed that my first job out of school would be so powerful in and of itself. I remember a time when I too felt unbeautiful. I got teased and taunted about my night-shaded skin. My one prayer to god, the miracle worker, was that I would wake up lighter skinned."
"I hope that my presence on your screens and in magazines will lead you, young girl, on a similar journey. That you will feel the validation of your external beauty, but also get to the deeper business of being beautiful inside. There is no shade in that beauty."
The American star Keri Russell was the runner up in People's Most Beautiful list, followed by Jenna Dewan-Tatum and Mindy Kaling.
As for Nyong'o, the best thing about the honour is the wider message that's being sent out about beauty and diversity, "I was happy for all the girls who would see me on [it] and feel a little more seen."
People magazine's most beautiful 2014
1. Lupita Nyong'o
2. Kerri Russell
3. Jenna Dewan-Tatum
4. Mindy Kaling
6. Amber Heard
7. Gabrielle Union
8. Molly Sims
9. Stacy Keibler
10. Kerry Washington
- Daily Life
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