People's Most Beautiful Woman Lupita Nyong'o Meets Alek Wek

Lupita Nyong'o, People's Most Beautiful Woman meets her beauty icon Alek Wek Meets.

Her name is on everyone's lips. The new 'It-Girl' is African and took the world by storm with her performance in Steve McQueen's 12 Years A Slave, which won her the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, among other numerous awards and nominations. Since then,  Lupita Nyong's graced magazines covers, beauty campaigns (Lancôme) and fashion brands (Miu Miu). "I 'm particularly proud to represent its unique vision for women," she stated on becoming the first black ambassador for Lancôme, "and the idea that beauty should not be dictated but should instead be an expression of a woman's freedom to be herself."

Two days ago, Lupita was named People Magazine's Most Beautiful Woman. Interviewed by Today, her reaction about the cover was thankful but grounded, "I'm flattered, but flattered sounds like such a flighty word, you know?. I'm flattered with, like, gravitas under it. What an incredible journey to go from that feeling to being on the cover of this magazine. I mean, you could have never told me that that would happen when I was 16 and insecure about my complexion."

You might recall Lupita's speech at Essence Magazine's Black Women in Hollywood in which she mentions the great influence of South Sudanese/British model Alek Wek on her own self-image: "I remember a time when I too felt un-beautiful. I put on the TV and only saw pale skin. I got teased and taunted about my night-shaded skin. And my one prayer to God, the miracle worker, was that I would wake up lighter-skinned... And then, Alek Wek came to the international scene (laughs). A celebrated model, she was dark at night, she was on all the runways and then in every magazines. Everyone was talking about how beautiful she was: even Oprah called her beautiful! and that made it a fact." Well, this week Lupita met her beauty icon. The actress stated that having tea with her role model was simply "a dream come true." We'd like to say that Lupita is also a dream come true. Scroll through our gallery above to view photographs from the People Magazine editorial. If you want to talk about it, tweet @okayafrica with #lupitanyongo.

Photo by Meztli Yoalli Rodríguez

Dying Lagoons Reveal Mexico’s Environmental Racism

In the heart of a traditionally Black and Indigenous use area in Southwest Mexico, decades of environmental destruction now threatens the existence of these communities.

On an early morning in September 2017, in a little fishing village in the Pacific coast of Oaxaca, called Zapotalito, thousands of dead fish floated on the surface of the Chacahua-Pastoría lagoons. A 7.1-magnitude earthquake, which rattled Mexico City on September 19, was felt as far down as Zapotalito, and the very next morning, its Black, Indigenous and poor Mestizo residents, who depend on the area's handful of lagoons for food and commerce, woke up to an awful smell and that terrible scene of floating fish.

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