Syracuse University's Premier Fashion & Beauty Publication


BY Annika Hoiem


Lupita Nyong’o stole hearts as she set foot on the Oscars 2014 red carpet in that beautiful, blue gown. She glided with grace, embodied elegance, and laughed as pure joy twinkled in her eyes.  She broke hearts in her genuine, humble, and tearful Academy Award acceptance speech.  Her speech that same year for Essence’s Black Women in Hollywood’s breakthrough award was even more touching, as she read a letter from a young African American girl who said she could now feel beautiful seeing Lupita on screen.  She tearfully admitted that, like the young girl, she too had once hated the blackness of her skin. Lupita desperately pleaded with those girls, telling them not to believe society’s lies, and with Hollywood, asking for them to recognize and hire more of those role models and promote a more diverse vision of beauty.

“Beauty was not a thing that I could acquire or consume.  It was something that I just had to be,” she said, “You can’t rely on how you look to sustain you.  What actually sustains us, what is fundamentally beautiful, is compassion for yourself and for those around you. That kind of beauty enflames the heart and enchants the soul.”

Life Lessons from Lupita:

  1. Humility and grace will draw people to you and open wonderful opportunities. Lupita embodies what it means to be truly elegant and graceful.  Her words are poignant and she gives credit where it’s due.  Now she has an Oscar, is starring on Broadway, is in a Star Wars film, and the live action Jungle Book.  Who ever said that you had to mean-spirited to get ahead?
  2. Beauty comes from within. Lupita said herself, you have to make peace with your own physical appearance, but more importantly, you must make peace with who you are on the inside. Inner beauty is true and lasting.
  3. Don’t mistake kindness for weakness. Speaking with kindness and gentleness does not mean you are devoid of confidence.  Lupita is a beautiful picture of both softness and strength.  You can be both!

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When dressing for a formal event, it’s important that you wear something comfortable and uniquely ‘you.’  A flowy gown will put you at ease on an otherwise stressful night.  Above all, you do you.

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Business casual can be a struggle at times, particularly if you’re running between classes and interviews. Switch it up by wearing slacks, heels, a cute blouse, and cropped jacket.


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Add spice to your wardrobe by adding a pop of color to an otherwise monochrome outfit.  Whether it’s a handbag, a bright lip color, or a statement shoe, work accessories to your advantage.

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