During her speech at this year's Essence Black Women in Hollywood luncheon, Lupita Nyong'o opened up about struggling with her self-image until she was inspired by Alek Wek and seeing the model gracing the covers of magazines. Wek has since shared her own pride over Nyong'o's success and, now that People magazine has named Nyong'o the most beautiful person in the world, the publication has decided to bring the two women together for the first time.
Wek thanked the actress for the beautiful words she said about her and was humbled by Nyong'o's praise.
"It meant a lot because starting modeling in the '90s, it was quite surreal because they were like, 'Oh, you're so different, you're so weird, you're so bizarre,' and I'm like, 'I'm so normal. What are you talking about?'" Wek said. "And I just love the genuineness that you bring to your craft and just you as a young lady. That totally shows through."
Nyong'o, who said it was "a dream come true" to chat with Wek, added how it felt to be a young girl and finally connecting with someone who looked like her — even if that person didn't know of her existence.
"I just remember seeing you on the cover of a magazine, I don't even remember what magazine it was, but there was no apology in you. You were just who you were and I had never seen it before and I was just like, 'How is this working?' That she's just who she is and she's on the cover of magazines and I had never seen anyone like me on the cover," she said.
"This is really a dream come true, sitting here with you and talking about beauty and character," Nyong'o continued. "I know you never knew I existed until I came onto the scene with this thing, but I think that's the wonderful thing about being in some sort of public eye is that you can affect and inspire other people without knowing it. Your work is done and you have no idea about it. That's really powerful."
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(Photo: People via YouTube)