Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’ois currently promoting her new children’s book “Sulwe”, and she claims that the book “holds up a mirror for dark-skinned children especially, to see themselves reflected immediately, and it is a window for all the others to cherish peering into”.
Nyong’o admits about how colourism has affected her life, so she decided, under a picture of her as 5-year-old, to write “Sulwe” to reflect on her journey. Her growing up under society’s preference for lighter skin did have a major impact on her view about her skin tone.
And even nowadays, Nyong’o constantly facing colourism, and she even confessed Glamour that European standards of beauty “plague the entire world.”
The story focusses on a girl named Sulwe, who goes on a journey to discover her unique beauty. Sulwe is darker than everyone in her family and than anyone in her school. At the end of the day, she just wants to be beautiful and bright like her family. ut soon a magical journey changes everything.
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This is 5-year-old me. I reflected on this little girl’s feelings and fantasies when I decided to write my children’s book, #Sulwe. With this book, I wanted to hold up a mirror for her. Here’s why: As a little girl reading, I had all of these windows into the lives of people who looked nothing like me, chances to look into their worlds, but I didn’t have any mirrors. While windows help us develop empathy and an understanding of the wider world, mirrors help us develop our sense of self, and our understanding of our own world. They ground us in our body and our experiences. #Sulwe holds up a mirror for dark-skinned children especially, to see themselves reflected immediately, and it is a window for all the others to cherish peering into. Colorism, society’s preference for lighter skin, is alive and well. It’s not just a prejudice reserved for places with a largely white population. Throughout the world, even in Kenya, even today, there is a popular sentiment that lighter is brighter. I imagined what it would have been like for this little girl to turn the pages of her picture books and see more dark skin in a beautiful light. This book is my dream come true for kids like her today. #Sulwe arrives October 15. ✨ Link in bio to pre-order. #NationalBookMonth #BrightnessIsJustWhoYouAre