Lupita Nyong'o Wows at Star Wars Premier in Spite of Sexist Comments

               (Photo from Lupita Nyong’o’s Instagram page.)

              (Photo from Lupita Nyong’o’s Instagram page.)

For those unfamiliar, Lupita Nyong’o is a beautiful Yale educated Kenyan-Mexican actress. She was one of the many women that was preyed upon by disgraced director and outed sexual predator, Harvey Weinstein. She shared her story through an article on the New York Times that received an outpouring of support from women who had similar experiences in and out of the film industry. However, reading through some of the comments, some of the responses were less than encouraging. Many male commentators dismissed the harassment that the actress faced by implying or adamantly stating that she brought it on herself. One commenter said that “she walked right into some of the [unprofessional and overtly sexual] situations,” that Harvey Weinstein tried to manipulate her into participating in. Another said that her physical mobility in all of the situations negated her victimhood as the recipient of harassment: “clearly she had a choice to leave; but she chose to stick around and give him a massage anyway. Does that really make her a victim?” But the most infuriating comment of all, was one that soliciting information to see whether Lupita deserved the harassment or not: “well, what was she wearing when all this was happening?”

The obstacles that she has faced as a woman are compounded because she is a black woman. Nyong’o was already less likely to land major roles based on two facts: her skin is dark and Hollywood is inherently colorist. Additionally, because of the pervading stereotypes of black women as insatiable jezebels, they are less likely to be taken seriously when reporting incidents of sexual assault or sexual harassment. But taking all that into account, Lupita still deserves to wear whatever she would like to wear and not be harassed. She is a beautiful dark skinned woman and despite her experience with Weinstein she remains positive, poised and confident in her ambitions.

 (Image from UsMagazine)

(Image from UsMagazine)

I think that is why I loved the dress she wore to the premiere of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. It was a beautiful emerald hued Halpern Studio dress with jewel detailing and a slit up to her thigh. The metallic tones highlighted her beautiful brown skin. For me, the dress made a bold statement: I am black. I am beautiful. I am carefree. And I am not a provocateur.

 

Article by Amiah Taylor