By Attiya Karodia

Every now and again the world is awestruck by a person, and this time is no different. Lupita Nyong’o is not just worth mentioning because of her talent or merely her skin colour, but rather because of the barriers in the traditional concept of beauty that she is has proven to be broken.

Women of colour have been plagued for centuries by the notion that beauty equals fairness of skin, and even today, girls strive to be a yellowbone, with a weave, fake nails, no waist and an enhanced booty, and while I encourage young women to make their own choices, I would be lying if I said that I was ok with the concept of Beauty that we’ve defined (I’ve already said it in far too many blog posts). I can feel it in my bones that times are changing, and that women are learning that any kind of beauty is beautiful, as long as its the beauty that keeps you happy and healthy.

Lupita Nyong'o (Web Images)

Lupita Nyong’o (Web Images)

In a time when even Beyonce is lightened on magazine covers, how amazing is it to see someone with the raw beauty like Lupita shine on the Red Carpet? More diversity, please!

Women like Lupita in a very superficial sense are good role models to us all, because we don’t rummage for skin lighteners, we don’t starve ourselves or fatten ourselves up, she is a symbol of the truth that is the power of embracing who you are and showing it off to the world.

Sarah Paulson and Lupita Nyong'o in Steve McQueens film, 12 Years A Slave (Web Images)!

Sarah Paulson and Lupita Nyong’o in Steve McQueens film, 12 Years A Slave (Web Images)

What I love about Lupita does not boil down to how good she looks in high fashion, but rather how elegant and classy she always is. How many other ‘strong’ women in the spotlight have the same grace and poise?

She is my muse for 2014, and I am looking forward to seeing more women approaching beauty the way she does!