Lupita Nyong’o discusses how beauty has changed

The “Star Wars” actress discusses her latest projects, including her feature in Ciara’s song “Melanin” and her book, “Sulwe.”
6:17 | 12/11/19

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Transcript for Lupita Nyong’o discusses how beauty has changed
Well, you danced out. I was going to say you walked out B uh-uh danced out to Ciara's new hit song "Nel anyone," and I think it's even more incredible that the wrapper in the song "Troublemaker," is you. Yeah, it's me. Oh, really? It's such a celebration of women of color, and was it fun to be apart of that? Oh, yeah. I mean, I couldn't believe it when she texted me and asked me to be apart of it, and of course, I jumped on the opportunity because -- I didn't know you could rap. Neither did I really. But she's legitimatized me in the game, and I appreciate that. It's nice. Not everybody can say, Ciara, you know, she texted me, asked me to rap for her, and I did it. Well, yeah. Well, I have to say congratulations because this morning you were nominated for a screen actor's guild award for the film, "Us." I'm a horror film connoisseur. Justice for horror films, they should be getting awards across the board. This movie is justifiably getting a lot of attention, one of the best movies easily in the past 25 years, and I know what I'm talking about. This isn't your first award season, but you're in a different genre. Yes, it does. The first time I went through a similar thing, it was my first time doing everything. So, you know, it was really intense for me, and everything was so new, and I was just, like, completely discombobulated trying to figure out what the hell was going on, and this time it feels -- I feel a lot more relaxed and it just -- it's -- I'm -- I'm more able to see it from -- with perspective, you know? And it's a delightful thing to be able to be nominated again, especially by actors because they know what's up, you know? They know. They understand the craft and everything. It's high, high, high honor to be nominated for the sag award, and but -- yeah. It all feels manageable to me in a way that last time it was just, like, oh my goodness. You played two characters in that movie. Yeah. That was different. Yeah. And that was an incredible challenge in and of itself, and it's just -- it's so exciting to see people resonate with the film, people dress up as the characters and then to get the critical recognition as well for the work we did is just, like, icing upon icing. Please make another one. Just genius. Not "Us" though. Please. You have been an outspoken voice in the changing conversation about beauty also. You're so pretty. Thank you. The miss universe pageant on Sunday, zozibini tunzi, did I say that right? I don't know. That's her name. She's from South Africa. She said, I grew up in a world where a woman who looks like me with my kind of skin and my kind of hair was never considered beautiful. So do her words resonate with you at all? I can't imagine that you were ever not considered beautiful. Why, thank you. Well, of course, her words resonate with me. They're words I uttered myself, and that's why I wrote the children's book that I did, "Sulwe" because it's about that experience of living in a society where you feel different, and you feel -- and you don't -- society doesn't seem to appreciate the beauty in your complexion. The world doesn't seem to appreciate the beauty in your complexion and therefore, you underappreciate yourself. So it's delightful to see things changing, and I mean at the end of the day, it's like, moments like these that change our subconscious bias, you know? Yeah. And that's what "Sulwe" is about, to hopefully bolster children to see their beauty in themselves, the nature of their beauty before the world tells them any other thing. It's across the board now. I think it's -- isn't it miss universe, miss usa, miss teen universe -- there were four beauty queens now, all of color. Really? Yeah. "Sulwe" is written beautifully and illustration is just beautiful, and we talk a lot on this show about representation, and how important that is, and I have a sister from China, and I remember when "Crazy rich Asians" came out, and we had Constance Wu on the show, and she said, I for the first time, saw someone that looked like me. Do you have young girls that come up to you when you are out or moms that say, thank you. Thank you for being an example or helping me teach my own kids how beautiful they are? I had a woman come up to me in a store in London recently, and she said, thank you for teaching me how to love my daughter. I asked her that question. She said, you know, before I was -- I was demonstrating love by trying to keep her away from the sun and things like that, and I didn't realize that I was discriminating against her complexion because her daughter was darker than her, and she said, you know, through the experience of seeing me in magazines and talking about these issues, she learned that she was loving her daughter out of fear, right? Rather than, like, teaching her to love herself the way she was, and so she had changed her -- the way she communicated with her daughter. Because of the book? No. Because of how you have been speaking about it. That was before my book, this summer. I was so touched that's what had come out of just my presence, and that's the thing. Yeah. We can see ourselves in images of aspiration and imagination, we see ourselves in a better light, you know.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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