Her speech at Essence’s Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon was a sincere and powerful message and it came at such a perfect time, as we celebrate International Women’s Day later this week on Saturday March 8th.
Her speech reminded me of how I felt as a young child alongside of my fair-faced friends. I had a similar prayer. I prayed that I would wake up with blue eyes. As you can imagine, that never happened.
Growing up in Texas as a young Hispanic girl makes you tough. It also makes you feel inadequate and insecure. Finally in my college years, I was able to uproot those seeds of racism and stereotypes that were deeply planted in my soul.
At long last, I learned to embrace my differences — color, family, language, faith, and culture as a gift, instead of a curse. As a result of embracing what God gave me, I can now pass along to my children the rich cultural heritage and values that go beyond our outer appearance and the color of our skin.
Here are some of my favorite quotes from her speech that I want to pass along to my boys. Yes, you read correctly, to my boys. Because not only do they need to hear this for themselves, but they also need to be reminded of this as they enter the world of dating.
This may not make sense to you right now, but remember that “You can’t eat beauty.”
My sweet boy, “You can’t rely on how you look to sustain you.”
My little man in the making, never forget this as you grow in intellect and stature and as you look for date-worthy young ladies, “What’s fundamentally beautiful is compassion for yourself and for those around you. That kind of beauty inflames the heart and enchants the soul.”
Son, when you start dating, I want you to remember that you need to look beyond what you see and look for opportunities to discover the beauty that resides inside that young lady. I also want you to remember this for yourself, because when you do, “You will feel the validation of your external beauty, but also get to the deeper business of being beautiful inside.”
My strong and brave boy, don’t be afraid to embrace who you are and who God has made you to be because, “There is no shade in that beauty.”
Lupita Nyong’o, I salute you for not just being a role model to our young people, but also for being an example to your peers. Young girls and boys of all colors and nationalities need to hear more of this type of message. When these words come from celebrities whom our kids admire in the entertainment industry, it makes all the difference.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia