Lupita Nyong’o is beautiful by any standards. The young actress who won an Oscar for ‘best supporting actress’ in ’12 years a slave’ is an inspiration for many young women. But when I listened to a speech she gaves days before the Oscars about how she had little self esteem because her skin was so dark, it made me realize how much of an inspiration she is, especially to African-American girls.

She offers much wisdom in her speech she gave at the ‘Black women in Hollywood’ luncheon, where she won an award for ‘best breakthrough performance’. Her respect and love for her mom is touching and you see and hear the crowd respond to her personal and vulnerable story.

Watch this video with your teen girls and use is as a starter for a discussion on beauty. Here are some suggestions for questions:

  • What is your idea of beauty and beautiful?
  • Do you think you are beautiful? Why (not)?
  • How is your idea of who is beautiful shaped by what you see on TV and in magazines?
  • Lupita says this: “You can’t eat beauty, it does not feed you. Beauty is not something that I could acquire or consume. It is something that I just had to be.” Do you agree with her?
  • Lupita also says that beauty comes from the inside and that it’s about compassion. What do you think of that?
  • How could you become more beautiful from the inside out and what is God’s role in this you think?