Speaking to the Associated Press at the Essence Black Women in Hollywood luncheon Thursday, Lupita said: “I got teased and taunted about my skin. My one prayer to God was that I would wake up lighter skinned.
“The morning would come and I would be so excited about seeing my new skin that I would refuse to look down at myself until I was in front of the mirror because I wanted to see my face first. Every day I would feel the disappointment of being just as dark as the day before.”
Lupita went on to reveal that it wasn’t until she spotted stunning supermodel Alex Wek, who also has dark skin, in magazines and realised that she should be proud of her beautiful complexion.
“She was dark as night and was in all the magazines and on runways,” Lupita explained.
“My complexion had always been an obstacle to overcome. I couldn’t believe that people were embracing a woman who looked so much like me as beautiful. It was perplexing and I wanted to reject it because I had begun to enjoy the seduction of inadequacy. But a flower couldn’t help but bloom inside of me.”
She added: “I hope that my presence on your screen and my face in magazines may lead you, young girls, on a beautiful journey. That you will feel the validation of your external beauty, but also get to the deeper business of being beautiful inside.”