Lupita Nyong'o's star has been shining bright since her breakout performance on 12 Years a Slave and her Academy Award win this past weekend has solidified her status as an incredible actress. During the recent Essence Black Women in Hollywood luncheon, Nyong'o opened up about struggling with her image as as a child and being inspired once Alek Wek came on the scene. Not only did she finally have a role model who looked like her, but Wek's own rise as a supermodel helped Nyong'o go for her own dreams.
When Essence spoke with Wek about the influence her success had on Nyong'o, Wek expressed her joy over the actress' success as well as her own journey to self-acceptance.
"I was amazed and very humbled by Lupita's words, and I am so proud and happy that her talent was deservedly recognised with her Oscar award," she wrote.
"When I was growing up, my mother taught me and my sisters to celebrate each other — there was no room in our household for negativity. She taught us to embrace each other and this was empowering for us. She also taught us the value of celebrating our differences."
To read Wek's entire response, click here.
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(Photos: Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images for In+Addition; Jason Merritt/Getty Images)