Lupita Nyong'o Announces Children's Book About Unlearning F*cked-Up Beauty Standards

Lupita Nyong'o's children's book hits a subject that's close to her heart.

Lupita Nyong'o
Image via Getty/Frazer Harrison
Lupita Nyong'o

Lupita Nyong'o is ready to add children's book author to her list of achievements. The Academy Award–winning actress announced that she already wrote the book, Sulwe, and is excited to share it with the world next year.

"Sulwe is a dark skinned girl who goes on a starry-eyed adventure, and awakens with a reimagined sense of beauty," read Nyong'o's Instagram announcement post. "She encounters lessons that we learn as children and spend our lives unlearning. This is a story for little ones, but no matter the age I hope it serves as an inspiration for everyone to walk with joy in their own skin."

Nyong'o often speaks about how she had to learn to love her dark skin while growing up in a world that favors lighter tones so it's only natural that this story hits close to home for the beloved actress.

"My teenage years were plagued by the idea that light skin was better skin," Nyong'o told The Times in 2016. "There were adverts on TV about a woman trying to get a job and she only got it when she applied skin lightening cream. I felt that I was not considered beautiful because of my complexion. My self-worth was deeply compromised in those years."


A Global Industry Analysts report estimated skin-lightening as a $10 billion industry in 2009 and projects that it will grow into a $31.2 billion business by 2024.

With Sulwe, Nyong'o will not only be teaching children that dark skin is beautiful, she'll also be joining a growing number of celebrities who've written children's books including Alicia Keys, Will Smith, Queen Latifah, Madonna, Jerry Seinfeld, and Whoopi Goldberg. Sulwe is scheduled to be released in January 2019. In the meantime, fans can see Nyong'o fight off villains as Nakia in Black Panther, which is coming to theaters on Feb. 16.

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