When I first laid eyes on the Oscar-winning actress from Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave, Lupita Nyong’o, I fell in love. Now, whenever I see her photo, I can’t help but point out her beauty to whoever I’m with, and by God, they better agree. (In all honesty, no one has ever disagreed because DUH.) I have gushed over her so much this past year that my husband now refers to her as my “girl crush”. If she comes on TV, or we pass a news stand with her on a magazine cover, my husband will say, “Hey Casey, there’s your girl crush.”
That’s why when People Magazine named Lupita Nyong’o their Most Beautiful Woman for their annual Most Beautiful issue last week, I was beyond thrilled. It’s a huge step from last year’s most beautiful woman, Gwyneth Paltrow, who women have claimed for years unintentionally makes other women feel “less than”, but that’s an article for another day. What makes this year’s Most Beautiful Woman (and now the new face of Lancome) so refreshing is Lupita’s ability to shine wherever she goes. Sure, her flawless skin, beautiful wide eyes, high cheek bones and impeccable taste in fashion doesn’t hurt her cause, but what truly makes her a force attracting the praise of millions is her glowing personality and her radiating confidence.
However, like most women, Lupita Nyong’o didn’t always feel beautiful. In fact, being named the most beautiful woman in the world is not something she would have ever imagined as a young girl growing up in Kenya. In an eonline.com piece, Lupita explained how the women she saw on TV first formed her definition of beauty.
“Light skin and long, flowing, straight hair…Subconsciously you start to appreciate those things more than what you possess.”
Lucky for her (and the rest of the world), her mother, Dorothy, was quick to correct her and constantly told her daughter that she was beautiful. After a while, Lupita started to appreciate herself and accept her own, unique form of beauty.
As a makeup artist, I find beauty in every woman. The texture of one’s hair, the color of their skin, the lines on their face… none of that matters. Without fail, the one thing that matters the most is the belief that you are beautiful — the belief that you deserve just as much as the woman next to you, and the desire to make sure every woman feels the same.
Beauty isn’t about the makeup on your face, or the clothes draped on your frame. It’s about self-confidence. In my post “5 Reasons I Love Makeup”, I mention the power of makeup to boost confidence, but I am clear to say no one should rely on makeup solely for their confidence. That’s because makeup and clothes are simply tools to help you feel your most beautiful. Cosmetics should only be used to enhance your natural beauty, while fashion should be the physical manifestation of your personality, also known as your “inner beauty”. You could be wearing the most perfect gown, draped in the finest jewels, have red-carpet hair and a flawless makeup application, but without appreciating what makes you unique (inside and out), without believing you are worthy of praise, and without loving yourself, no one is going to give you a second look.
Lupita’s mother told her repeatedly that she was beautiful, and despite what she saw on television that encouraged her to question and doubt her own appearance, Lupita chose to believe she was beautiful and deserving of the praise she receives. Because she chose to believe these things, Lupita is experiencing success at heights she once couldn’t even imagine.
And that’s not just for Lupita. No matter your goals, self-confidence can open doors that will take you to levels of success in which you once could only dream. Even the most basic business courses cover the importance of self-confidence. That’s because people are attracted to confident individuals. They are much more likely to trust a confident person, and in turn, help open doors for your future success.
If you wake up in the morning feeling a bit down, immediately change your way of thinking. The quickest way to do this? Start thinking about all the things for which you are thankful. Getting in an “attitude of gratitude” first thing in the morning is sure to set your day on the right path.
All the makeup, jewelry, shoes, and clothes in the world can’t come close to the importance of self-confidence. Confidence is the most important thing a woman can wear, and Lupita Nyong’o is a fantastic example of how far confidence can take you. So, congratulations to 2014’s Most Beautiful Woman, Lupita Nyong’o! May she continue to radiate beauty, do good, and inspire people of all ages, races, and genders for years to come!
Check out her interview with PEOPLE TV and see what she has to say about being named 2014’s Most Beautiful Woman:
So with that in mind, ask yourself, “How confident am I?” If someone says something negative to you, do you let it affect your mood, or do you shrug it off? Do you have any personal experiences where your confidence has helped you? If so, share them in the comment section below! And tell me… What do you think of People Magazine’s 2014’s Most Beautiful Woman?