Lupita Nyong'o is no longer a young woman who graduated from Yale, made her feature film debut in a critically-acclaimed movie, and became a fashion favorite. As of this past weekend, when she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her unforgettable performance as Patsey in 12 Years a Slave, and when that film went on to win Best Picture of the Year, Lupita Nyong'o the person became Lupita Nyong'o the movement. And for those of us watching closely, this movement (the correct pronunciation of which you can find HERE) has great cultural significance. Attention must be paid.
First of all, if you were able to make it through that without shedding a single tear, then props to you. But for the rest of us actual humans, that speech was everything. And the orchestra playing "Pure Imagination" at the end was absolutely perfect. Still, her acceptance speech at Essence magazine's Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon is a favorite for many of us:
I want to take this opportunity to talk about beauty, black beauty, dark beauty. I received a letter from a girl and I’d like to share just a small part of it with you: “Dear Lupita,” it reads, “I think you’re really lucky to be this black but yet this successful in Hollywood overnight. I was just about to buy Dencia’s Whitenicious cream to lighten my skin when you appeared on the world map and saved me.”
My heart bled a little when I read those words, I could never have guessed that my first job out of school would be so powerful in and of itself and that it would propel me to be such an image of hope in the same way that the women of The Color Purple were to me.
I remember a time when I too felt unbeautiful. I put on the TV and only saw pale skin, I got teased and taunted about my night-shaded skin. And my one prayer to God, the miracle worker, 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 a mirror because I wanted to see my fair face first. And every day I experienced the same disappointment of being just as dark as I was the day before. I tried to negotiate with God, I told him I would stop stealing sugar cubes at night if he gave me what I wanted, I would listen to my mother’s every word and never lose my school sweater again if he just made me a little lighter. But I guess God was unimpressed with my bargaining chips because He never listened.
And when I was a teenager my self-hate grew worse, as you can imagine happens with adolescence. My mother reminded me often that she thought that I was beautiful but that was no conservation, she’s my mother, of course she’s supposed to think I am beautiful. And then … Alek Wek. A celebrated model, she was dark as night, she was on all of the runways and in every magazine and everyone was talking about how beautiful she was. Even Oprah called her beautiful and that made it a fact. I couldn’t believe that people were embracing a woman who looked so much like me, as beautiful. My complexion had always been an obstacle to overcome and all of a sudden Oprah was telling me it wasn’t. 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, when I saw Alek I inadvertently saw a reflection of myself that I could not deny. Now, I had a spring in my step because I felt more seen, more appreciated by the far away gatekeepers of beauty. But around me, the preference for my skin prevailed, to the courters that I thought mattered I was still unbeautiful. And my mother again would say to me you can’t eat beauty, it doesn’t feed you and these words plagued and bothered me; I didn’t really understand them until finally I realized that beauty was not a thing that I could acquire or consume, it was something that I just had to be.
And what my mother meant when she said you can’t eat beauty was that you can’t rely on how you look to sustain you. What is fundamentally beautiful is compassion for yourself and for those around you. That kind of beauty enflames the heart and enchants the soul. It is what got Patsey in so much trouble with her master, but it is also what has kept her story alive to this day. We remember the beauty of her spirit even after the beauty of her body has faded away.
And so I hope that my presence on your screens and in the magazines may lead you, young girl, on a similar journey. That you will feel the validation of your external beauty but also get to the deeper business of being beautiful inside. There is no shame in black beauty.
In a world where women of color are still lightening their skin, in a world where the typical black woman on screen looks like Halle Berry or Paula Patton, in a world where Kerry Washington and Gabrielle Union are considered to be dark-skinned beauties (and it is still a big deal that they are being so embraced by Hollywood), Nyong'o as a fashion and beauty icon (she's also the new face of Miu Miu) is no small thing at all. The legacy of slavery still very much operates in our culture, and part of that legacy pertains to black women with lighter skin being labeled more beautiful and more valuable (a scene in 12 Years a Slave shows that, indeed, slave owners were willing to pay more for those enslaved blacks with lighter skin). For hundreds of years, black beauty has been defined by non-blacks, and while that is still very much happening today — even with Nyong'o's story — it is wholly refreshing to see all shades of black beauty finally being embraced in a very public light.
When Nyong'o hit the Academy Awards red carpet she was, of course, bombarded with questions about her gorgeous pastel-blue gown. It was designed by Prada, and — more importantly — she said that it reminded her of her hometown, Nairobi, Kenya. And wouldn't you know it — Kelly Osbourne of E!'s Fashion Police immediately and appropriately labeled the look #NairobiBlue, which then began trending on Twitter. It is also no small victory to see the name of an African city become equated with a thing of beauty, to become beautiful itself.
But race and black beauty aren't the only issues at play here. While many folks might have looked at her rise to fame as a rags-to-riches story, it's important to note that Nyong'o comes from a middle-class upbringing. She prides herself on being the daughter of a Kenyan senator, and the cousin of Isis Nyong'o, who recently made the Forbes list of Most Powerful African Women. She completed her undergraduate studies at Hampshire College and earned her MFA from the Yale School of Drama. All of this to say that she is an educated, fabulous, talented force of nature. And judging by her Instagram account, she's just as much as superfan of all things pop culture as the rest of us. Her presence in this world is huge right now, and watching her inspire young men and women everywhere makes the notion of celebrity status far more enjoyable.
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There's nothing you can do about it — Lindsay Lohan's reality show/docu-series on Oprah Winfrey's OWN network is on its way. Seriously. We're lucky that Conan O'Brien released this preview so we all know what to mentally prepare for:
Yeah, that's pretty accurate. Now, in all fairness, Lindsay has been hard at work since her release. And aside from that Paris Hilton situation, she's been staying out of trouble for the most part. So maybe we'll actually see her working and living, and not running her car though city buildings? That would be nice. But it wouldn't be a Lohan show without some drama, so we should all prepare for something to pop off.
For example, any scenes with her mother, Dina Lohan, will probably be epic. And any scenes where Lindsay actually talks about her past and everything she's learned, and how much she's changed (we're holding back the laughter) will also be a big deal... especially when we look back on the show a year from its original air date. Get ready, folks. But seriously, we hope the show is hella boring, because that will probably mean she's doing much better in life. Either way, we'll be tuning in to OWN on March 9 to see exactly what we're dealing with here.
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Actress Tamera Mowry-Housley has opened up about the bullying she has been subjected to over her interracial marriage since tying the knot to newsman Adam Housley in 2011. The former Sister, Sister star, who is biracial herself, reveals she has been left shocked and hurt by the cruel comments some critics have made about her family life in the last few years, and she cannot understand their ignorance.
Speaking on a new episode of U.S. TV show Oprah: Where Are They Now?, she said, "It's hurtful, because my husband and I are so openly fine with showing love, but people choose to look past love and spew hate. That's what hurts me because I've never experienced so much hate in my life...
"My mum is a beautiful black woman and my dad is an amazing white man, and I grew up seeing a family. I didn't grow up saying, 'Oh, that's a white man.'"
Mowry-Housley gave birth to the couple's first child, son Aden, in 2012.
The Blue Lagoon director Randal Kleiser posted a photo of his teenage leading lady Brooke Shields above her co-star's bed to make sure the young couple had instant chemistry on the set. In a new interview with Oprah Winfrey, which will air on her Where Are They Now special this weekend (01Dec13), Christopher Atkins, who was 18 when he romanced the 14-year-old actress in the 1980 film, reveals he fell for Shields in a big way after staring at a shot of her every night.
Atkins says, "The director wanted us to be attracted to each other. He stuck a picture of her over my bunk on the boat when I first got there just so I could start becoming attracted to her.
"He said, 'It will come out in your eyes. It will come out in real time on film'."
The director's plan worked - a little too well: "Brooke and I had a little bit of a romantic-innocence sort of romance in the very beginning of the film. It was very nice. We were very, very close friends, put it that way!"
Atkins reveals the teenagers had plenty of time to get to know one another: "The conditions during filming were very rustic. When we got there, there was no water on the island and there was really no place to live. The first two weeks we lived on a boat and we were shuttled back and forth to the set from the boat. Then after that we moved into the tents and lived in those tents for four and a half months."
Wrestler-turned-reality TV regular Hulk Hogan battled suicidal thoughts after his marriage crumbled, his son was imprisoned and his family TV show was axed, all within months in 2008. The former fighter admits splitting from Linda, his wife of 24 years, in late 2007 was just the start of a terrible year, revealing he felt helpless when their son Nick was charged, and later imprisoned for eight months, following a horrific car crash which left his friend and passenger John Graziano fighting for his life.
The final blow came as the family's reality show, Hogan Knows Best, was axed, and the series of unfortunate incidents left the now-60 year old reeling.
He says, "Everything kind of went downhill really fast. There was an accident that my son was involved in and a good friend of ours was in the accident with my son. Just the marriage basically crashing and burning...
"After the show, I kind of hit rock bottom. Everything got dark, everything happened at once. I was drinking alcohol very heavily. It just all kept piling up. It just kept mounting and mounting, and I didn't know how to handle it. I always wondered how could someone possibly take their own life? I got to that point where I thought, 'You know what, maybe this would be easy. Maybe this would be an easy way to fix things.'"
Luckily, Hogan managed to pull himself together after a warm greeting from a group of fans during a miserable New Year's Eve in Miami, Florida made him realise he had plenty to live for.
Speaking to TV titan Oprah Winfrey, he explains, "It hit me that there is clean air and there is dirty air. Once I walked back inside again (the New Year's Eve party), I realised that I couldn't take it anymore. I got sick and tired of being sick and tired."
Adult actress Jenna Jameson is returning to the porn industry, five years after declaring she would never strip off on camera again. The busty blonde famously announced she was quitting porn at the Adult Video News Awards in 2008, but financial woes have since prompted her to take up work as a webcam model, undressing and performing sex acts online in exchange for tips, reports TMZ.com.
The 39 year old, who recently lost her Hollywood mansion to foreclosure, tells the website, "My motivation (for signing up for the webcam work) is taking care of my family and having fun and pleasing all of my fans."
Ironically, news of Jameson's return to porn emerges just a day after she appeared in a pre-taped interview on U.S. TV show Oprah: Where Are They Now?, on which she insisted she was not interested in big money offers to reprise her X-rated career, claiming her life has become "100 per cent about being a mother" to her four-year-old twins, Jesse and Journey.
Speaking to Oprah Winfrey on the programme, which aired on Sunday (10Nov13), she added, "I've had a lot of people question me saying, 'Why haven't you made a comeback? It'd be easy for you to make multi-millions off of one or two scenes.' And to be honest, I made a promise to my children when they were in my tummy that there is no way I would ever, ever, ever go back."
Robin Thicke is finally breaking his silence on his controversial VMA performance with Miley Cyrus, and he's doing so in the classiest way possible: in a sit-down with Oprah Winfrey. Unfortunately, his remarks don't quite live up to the classiness of this venue. In a new clip for the show that will air on Sunday at 9 PM, Oprah says to Thicke, "You didn't think of it (the VMA performance) as sexual?" But, just when you think Thicke will respond like a man and own up to his actions, he instead replies, "I was on stage, so I didn't see it." Dude, that is such a cop out.
For the past month, Miley Cyrus has faced criticism over her performance, and the 20 year old has either brushed it off or chalked it up to being intentionally shocking. In her interview with MTV, Cyrus claimed, "Me and Robin the whole time said, 'You know we're about to make history right now.'" Unfortunately for Cyrus, Thicke apparently decided not to stand by her, and instead offers up an array of excuses to Oprah. At one point, Thicke even describes the experience saying, "I'm looking up at the sky, I'm singing, I'm not really paying attention to all that. That's on her."
Um, excuse us, Robin, but didn't you also practice that routine with her, and weren't you the one who made the naked girls video in the first place? Miley was acting out your video, and sure, maybe she did so with her own twerk twist, but it was your video you two were reenacting. And the even worse part of this interview? Oprah is laughing. She's in complete agreement that Thicke was hoodwinked and Cyrus used him for her history making performance. There is no reference to a joint effort between Cyrus or Thicke, and he instead ends the clip but slamming Cyrus one more time, saying, "Listen, I'm the twerkee. I'm twerked upon. I don't twerk myself."
While Thicke may have been trying to save his own reputation, it's not very mature or professional to throw your partner under the bus. Basically, Thicke, instead of making everyone think you're the innocent party, you instead made yourself look like a coward who isn't able to admit to his own actions. And Oprah, I'm disappointed in you. Where are your journalistic instincts? Why are you laughing when you should be asking the questions, and putting Thicke on the spot? He was on that stage too, there is no way he isn't equally to blame. Shame on both of you.
Click here to see the extended clip, and check out the video below for a preview of the entire interview.
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Get ready for it: Nicole Richie, rapper.
The former Simple Life star, now 32, a mom and a fashionista, has been anchoring her own AOL webseries of late, Candidly Nicole. In the newest episode, "Nicole Knows Hip Hop," she tries her hand at some mean rhymes, working with producer Benji Madden and rapper Ebone Hoodrich to create a rap song she "can relate to." What exactly does she relate to? Her bangs, hairstylist house calls, gluten-free spaghetti, and, apparently, meowing. The last one is attempt to give a feline spin on DMX's barking. We think. Watch the video above for dropped R's and the most awkward swagga you've ever seen. Nikki Rich is quite the wordsmith!
But doesn't this make you wish Richie would return to TV proper for another reality show? How cool would it be to see her star in her own show, without dead weight Paris Hilton. She could even return to some of her Simple Life stomping grounds, interacting with the mere mortals she and Paris mocked on their seminal series 10 years ago. Reality TV gods, make this happen.
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"If I were to take a picture of this crowd right now, people would see some of your faces and the movements that are starting today. This is your moment to join those silent heroes of the past, individuals who stood in the very spot where you stand today. You now have the responsibility to carry the torch as we gather here... as hundreds of thousands did on this day 50 years ago." Movie star Forest Whitaker delivers a stirring address as he marks the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's iconic 'I have a dream...' civil rights speech, alongside stars including Jamie Foxx, Oprah Winfrey and Hill Harper and civil rights leaders like Rev. AL Sharpton and Jesse Jackson.
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Lindsay Lohan sat down with Oprah Winfrey August 18 for an in-depth interview on Oprah's Next Chapter. It's the latest salvo in her campaign — after the release of The Canyons and her hosting of Chelsea Lately — to prove to the world that she is steady and employable. But her sitdown was still full of some wild revelations, particularly about her drug use, that might make an insurer think twice. Here are the six craziest moments from the interview.
1. She Wanted to Go to Jail
Yes, her two weeks in prison went just according to plan. "I think it was just to have some peace and just have no choice but to just sit and be," Lohan told Winfrey.
2. Yes, She's an Addict, But Not That Bad of One
LiLo cops to being an addict, but only when it comes to alcohol. And chaos! Yes, she says she's addicted to chaos, which by most accounts appears to be true. However, when it comes to harder substances, she says she only did cocaine 10-15 times. And even then she's quick to clarify that she only snorted cocaine, saying "I've never injected anything other than B-12 shots." When you have to clear the air by saying something like that, it really is time to look in the mirror.
3. She Proves She's Bought All the Oprah-isms Imaginable
"spiritual" and "ready to get honest." 'm really in touch, whether it's prayer or meditation... there are so many powers greater than me in the world.
Proving that she's watched a lot of Dr. Phil, Iyanla, and Oprah's own "Remembering Your Spirit" segments, LiLo was a veritable platitude dispenser. All the self-help descriptions of herself were there: she's "spiritual" now, "ready to get honest," "really in touch," and is aware that "there are so many powers greater than me in the world."
4. She has no idea where her money went.
Just a few suggestions about where to look: legal fees, bondsmen, court-imposed fines, bottles of Dom Perignon '53.
5. Oprah Forbids LiLo from Going on a European Meditation Retreat
Because those Franciscan monks are such party animals with their Vow of Silence and all.
6. She Defends Her Parents!
Michael & Dina Lohan are prime contenders for the title of "Worst Celeb Parents Ever," but Lindsay thinks you should cut them a break. "I hate the bad rap that people give my parents. Because they are just parents, really, at the end of the day trying to stand up for their daughter and themselves." Okay.
Did you watch?
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More: REVIEW: Lindsay Lohan Plummets Face First Into the Irredeemably Awful ‘The Canyons’ What’s Paul Schrader’s Advice for Lindsay Lohan’s Next Director? How Did Lindsay Lohan Do Guest-Hosting ‘Chelsea Lately’?
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Episode 1. American Idols, Brian Dunkleman and Anna Nicole Smith's 6-year-old Daughter
Episode 2. Fabio, Todd Bridges, and Erin Brockovich
Fabio; Erin Brockovich; Todd Bridges.
Episode 3. The Brady Bunch, Oprah's Teen Crush, and 70s Star David Cassidy at Home
Updates on 1970s stars, including Barry Williams, Christopher Knight, Mike Lookinland and Susan Olsen, all from "The Brady Bunch." Also: Henry Winkler; and David Cassidy.
Episode 4. 80s Teen Queen Molly Ringwald and Pastor Ted Haggard
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Actress Molly Ringwald talks about being a teen star in the 1980s; Dina Manzo discusses her reasons for leaving "The Real Housewives of New Jersey"; Ruby Gettinger shares weight-maintenance strategies. Also: former pastor Ted Haggard weighs in on scandal in his personal life.
Episode 5. Michael Bolton, Jon Gosselin, Soleil Moon Frye & Wonder Woman Lynda Carter
Michael Bolton performs; Jon Gosselin ("Jon & Kate Plus 8"), Soleil Moon Frye ("Punky Brewster") and Lynda Carter ("Wonder Woman") discuss developments in their lives.
Episode 6. Tori Spelling, Sully Sullenberger, Debbie Matenopolous and Jenna Jameson
Tori Spelling; RuPaul; Chesley Sullenberger; Debbie Matenopoulos; Jenna Jameson.
Episode 7. Hulk Hogan, Carrot Top, and J.Lo's Former Husband Cris Judd
Hulk Hogan, Scott Thorson, Cris Judd and Carrot Top provide updates on their lives.
Episode 8. Ricky Schroder, Rudy Giuliani, and Dramatic Weight Loss Stories
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Former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani; former child star Ricky Schroder; Liberian boys who inspired the adoption of 48 orphans.
Episode 9. Pat Benatar, Actor Christopher Atkins, and Dustin Diamond's Biggest Regrets
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Episode 10. Snooki, 80s Heartthrob Willie Aames and Lottery Winners
Willie Aames; Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi; Nikki Blonsky. Also: an update on lottery winners.
Episode 11. Dallas Star Linda Gray, Melissa Joan Hart & Former Prosecutor Marcia Clark
Updates from actors Linda Gray, Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence are featured. Also: O.J. Simpson prosecutor Marcia Clark.
Episode 12. 90210's Ian Ziering, Ivana Trump, & Project Runway Winner Christian Siriano
Ian Ziering; Ivana Trump; Christian Siriano; Debby Boone.