Lupita Nyong’o named People magazine’s Most Beautiful Person 2014

Reacting to the honour from People magazine, Nyong’o said: “It was exciting and just a major, major compliment. I was happy for all the girls who would see me on [the magazine cover] and feel a little more seen.”

LupitaNEW YORK, United States– When People magazine named its Most Beautiful Person for 2014, it came as no surprise that breakout star Lupita Nyong’o had easily bagged the honour.

“There was really no contest this year,” People’s editorial director Jess Cagle said on Wednesday’s “Today” show while making the announcement. “She seemed like the only choice.”

The gorgeous Kenyan-Mexican actress was a logical pick. Apart from her knockout looks, the 31-year-old is on a career high right now, having emerged as Hollywood’s new sweetheart and nearly sweeping the awards season, with wins including Best Supporting Actress at the Oscars for her role in “12 Years a Slave” — her first feature film.

That’s not to mention inking a contract with Lancome Paris and constantly featuring in “best dressed” lists with every red carpet appearance she makes.

“Obviously, Nyong’o is beautiful and talented,” Cagle said. “But the way

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she carries herself with such grace…put her over the top.”

Cagle added that he saw her give a powerful speech

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at the Black Women in Hollywood luncheon, where she “spoke really frankly about having felt un-beautiful when she was a girl, and she would pray for lighter skin.”

Indeed, upon winning the Best Breakthrough Performance Award at the Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon in February, Nyong’o moved the audience by saying: “I want to take this opportunity to talk about beauty. Black beauty. Dark beauty. I received a letter from a girl and I’d like to share just a small part of it with you: ‘Dear Lupita,’ it reads, ‘I think you’re really lucky to be this Black but yet this successful in Hollywood overnight. I was just about to buy Dencia’s Whitenicious cream to lighten my skin when you appeared on the world map and saved me.’

“I remember a time when I too felt unbeautiful. I put on the TV and only saw pale skin. I got teased and taunted about my night-shaded skin,” Nyong’o said.

“I hope that my presence on your screens and in the magazines may 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.”

Reacting to the honour from People magazine, Nyong’o said: “It was exciting and just a major, major compliment. I was happy for all the girls who would see me on [the magazine cover] and feel a little more seen.”

The actress’ speeches have come to be regarded as inspirational. At the Academy Awards, she closed with the memorable, “I look down at this golden statue, and may it remind me and every little child that no matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.”

Nyong’o is the third woman of African descent to win the People magazine award in its 25-year history. Halle Berry (2003) and Beyonce (2012) are the only African-American winners.
People’s Most Beautiful issue is a long-standing tradition in the magazine world, dating back to 1990 when Michelle Pfeiffer was the inaugural winner. Since then, the honour has become something of a status symbol in the celebrity world, similar to People’s Sexiest Man Alive tradition, which started in 1985.

While the annual Most Beautiful title almost always goes to a woman, there was a three-year run in the late eighties during which Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Cruise and Mel Gibson took the honours.

“Pretty Woman” star Julia Roberts holds the record for being named Most Beautiful on four occasions, while the inaugural winner Michelle Pfeiffer has accepted the honour twice.

The World’s Most Beautiful cover choices:
2013: Gwyneth Paltrow
2012: Beyoncé
2011: Jennifer Lopez
2010: Julia Roberts
2009: Christina Applegate
2008: Kate Hudson
2007: Drew Barrymore
2006: Angelina Jolie
2005: Julia Roberts
2004: Jennifer Aniston
2003: Halle Berry
2002: Nicole Kidman
2001: Catherine Zeta-Jones
2000: Julia Roberts
1999: Michelle Pfeiffer
1998: Leonardo DiCaprio
1997: Tom Cruise
1996: Mel Gibson
1995: Courteney Cox
1994: Meg Ryan
1993: Cindy Crawford
1992: Jodie Foster
1991: Julia Roberts
1990: Michelle Pfeiffer

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