For many young girls, Lupita Nyong’o is a role model.
The Oscar-winning actress has used her platform to speak openly about "black beauty" and how the color of your skin shouldn’t dictate your self-image. In her 2014 Best Breakthrough Performance Award speech at Essence’s Black Women in Hollywood luncheon, after explaining her odyssey to find self-love, she spoke directly to children who might see themselves in her.
"I hope that my presence on your screens and in the magazines may lead you, young girl, on a similar journey," she said. "That you will feel the validation of your external beauty, but also get to the deeper business of being beautiful inside."
As a child, Nyong’o herself needed role models. Today, for her first appearance on "Steve Harvey," she shares how Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey influenced her personally.
"Watching them in 'The Color Purple' definitely just like opened my eyes to the fact that, 'Oh, there’s people like me who are doing this thing called acting,'"Nyong’o tells Harvey.
Nyong’o guests on Harvey to promote her latest project, "Queen of Katwe," which hits theaters today. The film follows a young girl who learns to play chess in Kampala, Uganda and, with her new skills, is able to provide a better life for her family. It’s being called "radical" by some for its pointed and unabashed exploration of racial tension and violence, a bold step by the family-friendly Disney studios.