Every once and a while, something happens outside of the sports world that causes me to want to write. Last night was no exception.
For years I have loosely tuned in to the Academy Awards. I have to stay in the know although I cannot remember who won Best Picture last year. I love to watch the red carpet footage. The dresses. The shoes. The purses. The hair. The tuxedos. The bowties. I love it. I saw long dresses. Short dresses. Flowing hair. Cropped do’s. Slits. Splits. Midriffs. Louboutins. And a tuxedo short set. Only Pharrell.
This year, I actually watched the whole show sans a few minutes where I had to gather snacks, tend to my kitties and fix my lunch for the next day(today). I was excited about potentially seeing some actors and actresses I truly enjoy watching win the coveted Oscar. Plus I love Ellen Degeneres. Over the years, I have gained a new appreciation and respect for those in the film industry(thanks to my friend making waves in Hollywood…Hey Ceej!) who put in long hours on and off screen to perfect their craft. The Oscars are their night to shine and I feel the least I can do is tune to in, even loosely, to see them honored for their hard work.
I will admit. I have not seen any of the movies that were nominated for Best Picture. Matter fact, I do not believe I have seen any of the movies in which any of the actresses and actors were nominated for. *shrugs* I am not a movie goer. I go to the movies typically three to five times a year and that is being modest. Last year I went three times. Two years ago, I only went once. *shrugs* I am not a movie goer. However, that does not exempt me from appreciating all the talent that graced the seats of
The Dolby Theater in Hollywood last night. From Ellen’s having pizza delivered and taking the ultimate selfie to the stars to Pharrell shimmying with Meryl Streep to Robert Lopez winning an Oscar for the song “Let It Go” from the movie “Frozen” to join the rare EGOT club(Emmy-Grammy-Oscar-Tony) to Matthew McConaughey aka Jake Brigance acknowledging God for his success and throwing in an “Amen” in the process.
Yet, none of those were considered the highlight of the night. That honor belonged to Lupita Nyong’o's, the starlet who stormed onto the scene and snatched every major award including Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Patsey in the Best Picture winning “12 Years A Slave.” The world’s new favorite darling sealed her domination of awards season by capturing the gold statue, that she ineptly entitled “Young Man”, and hearts of those who were not familiar with her before last night. Looking like Cinderella, ready for her ball(Oscars), Nyong’o was a walking picture of grace, poise and class as she jubilantly covered her face with her hands when her name was pronounced into history. And then came her speech. Powerful. Memorable. Emotional. It started with a quick thank you to the academy and then an ode to her character, “It doesn’t escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain in someone else’s. And so I want to salute the spirit of Patsey for her guidance. And for Solomon, thank you for telling her story and your own.” Her immediate gratitude to her character, before she thanked cast, crew and her families, is a testament to the class she personifies every time she graces a red carpet or sits down for an interview. As I watched her speak, with tears in my eyes, she spoke to my heart as she concluded her speech with a line that spoke to millions across the world, “When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every little child that, no matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.”
On a night where movie star royalty was front and center, a newcomer who was born in Mexico and is of Kenyan descent stole the show. Her regalness, elegance and sheer beauty are captivating. However, that is not what stands out to me. What stands out is what she represents. In a society where the gold standard of beauty has for many years not resembled Nyong’o, she is just that. A gold standard. She exemplifies everything a woman should be. She exemplifies how a woman should carry herself at all times. She exemplifies going against the grain and embracing your God given features. She represents the essence, strength and determination that women all across the world display on a daily basis. She represents you. She represents me. She represents us.