A few months ago, I wrote a post on beauty and received some significant feedback about beauty both from men and women. I knew beauty held a special place in our hearts and minds even before I wrote it and so the feedback was just a validation. It even led to a friend opening up about her beauty issues and how much they have made her do what she does.

Then recently, Lupita Nyong’o happened. Besides the fact that she acted a heart-wrenching role in 12 Years a Slave and won an Oscar, the other prevalent debate, especially on social media, is her beauty. I remember writing then that you may not be considered beautiful here but absolutely stunning in another part of the world. Lupita is your proof. I stumbled upon this beautiful speech she gives to black women here and I would urge to listen to it. She talks of a time she used to pray to God to make her a little lighter, which of course did not happen. Then Alek Wek stepped into the scene and made her start looking at herself a bit differently.

Alek Wek’s response to Lupita’s mention is just as beautiful as she is. The one statement that stood out for me: Beauty should not be culturally relevant, it should be universal.

I will be brief today. Like Lupita’s mum told her, you cannot eat beauty. You have to think beyond your external looks. Lupita would not be where she is just because of her beauty. That is a fact.

1 Samuel 16:7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Again, I ask you: You are beautiful, but what next?

Also, listen to one of my favourites by Jonny Diaz, More Beautiful You.

So turn around you’re not too far
To back away, be who you are
To change your path go another way
It’s not too late, you can be saved
If you feel depressed with past regrets
The shameful nights hope to forget

Can disappear, they can all be washed away
By the one whose strong, can right your wrongs
Can rid your fears, dry all your tears
And change the way you look at this big world
He will take your dark distorted view
And with His light He will show you truth
And again you’ll see through the eyes of a little girl

There could never be a more beautiful you
Don’t buy the lies, disguises and hoops they make you jump through
You were made to fill a purpose that only you could do
So there could never be a more beautiful you
There could never be a more beautiful you

Written by Shiku Ngigi
Mum and dad's daughter. Shouting big sister. More than a Facebook friend. Jesus Freak. Wannabe Tomboy. Mouse Potato. Earphone Junkie. Texts over calls. Writes the way she talks.

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