Lupita Nyong’o delivered a tear-filled speech as she accepted an award at Essence magazine’s seventh annual Women in Hollywood luncheon.

The 30-year-old star has been receiving a wave of attention for her astonishing role in the critically-acclaimed film 12 Years a Slave. During her speech, Nyong’o made a confession that many dark skinned women can attest to. 

From Associated Press:

The “12 Years a Slave” star and Oscar nominee for best supporting actress confessed that as a young girl, she had wished her dark-hued skin would become lighter.

“I got teased and taunted about my skin,” Nyong’o began, on stage in a ballroom at the Beverly Hills Hotel. “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.”

Read more at Associated Press

Nyong said she tried to make a deal with God by vowing to stop consuming sugar cubes if she could only see change in her skin tone. The discovery of Sudanese British supermodel Alek Wek helped her build confidence in her own beauty.

“She was dark as night and was in all the magazines and on runways,” Nyong’o said. “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.”

Wow. It’s no doubt that the world notices how beauty you are Lupita.

How can we fuel inner confidence in dark skinned women?

Do you think the light skin vs. dark skin themes that are prevalent continue to divide us as a people?

Sound off below!