Lupita Nyong'o Is Publishing A Children's Book With A Powerful Message About Self-Love

"I hope it serves as an inspiration for everyone to walk with joy in their own skin."

Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o has a powerful message she wants to send young people, and she's doing it through an upcoming children's book called Sulwe. The New York Times reports that the book is due for release in January 2019 through Simon & Schuster, and is aimed at kids between 5 and 7.


The book, whose illustrator has yet to be announced, is inspired by Nyong'o's childhood, and her own struggle with self-image. The title character, Sulwe, whose name means "star" in Luo, is a 5-year-old girl living in Kenya. She has the darkest skin of her family members, and wishes to lighten it. The story follows her on "a whimsical adventure in the night sky that, coupled with advice from her mother, helps her see beauty differently."

"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 wrote of the book's lesson on Instagram.

Nyong'o told the Times that reading with her mother was important in her own journey to self-acceptance. The actress recalled feeling self-conscious about her skin tone in a 2014 speech for the ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood event, in which she also shared her hope to inspire young girls through her presence on screen. It was the positive reaction to this speech which inspired Nyong'o to spread the message to an even younger audience.

"I felt really grateful that it had this impact," the Black Panther actress told the Times. "And at that time it occurred to me that there was an audience that this was resonating with, but the age group that really needed to hear this wouldn't necessarily hear the speech."

Nyong'o has been vocal about changing beauty standards in the past. In December, she shared before-and-after photos of her Grazia UK magazine cover, criticizing the publication's decision to erase her natural ponytail from the image.

"Being featured on the cover of a magazine fulfills me as it is an opportunity to show other dark, kinky-haired people, and particularly our children, that they are beautiful just the way they are," she wrote on Instagram, adding that "there is still a very long way to go to combat the unconscious prejudice against black women's complexion, hair style, and texture."

We can't wait to see how Sulwe adds to this important conversation.

(H/T: Mashable)

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