Lupita Nyong'o, Vogue

Mario Testino / Vogue

Lupita Nyong'ois not one to stand idly by. 

Vogue tapped the stunning Oscar winner for its October cover, and in it Nyong'o addresses the painful criticism she's been dealt since her starring role in 2013's 12 Years a Slave made her a household name. 

Citing one talent agent's assertion that Nyong'o's career in Hollywood would last "two-and-half, three years," because as she put it, "Would Beyoncé be who she is if she didn't look like she does? Being lighter-skinned, more people can look at [Beyoncé's] image and see themselves in her," the actress said she has no time for racist speculations. 

"I have to deafen my ears to that Christian lady," the 33-year-old told the mag. "She is looking at me as part of the cultural tapestry. I am living and breathing. That person is not considering what I had for breakfast, how that is sitting in my stomach, and why I didn't do well with that audition."

Lupita Nyong'o, Vogue

Mario Testino / Vogue

Lupita continued, "I cannot run away from who I am and my complexion or the larger society and how they may view that."

Instead, the star is turning her critics' negative outlooks into an opportunity to shift people's perspectives on marginalized communities. 

"There are certain cards that have been dealt me that I take on," Lupita explained. "I want to create opportunities for other people of color because I'm fortunate enough to have a platform to do that. That is why [my characters in] Eclipsed and even Queen of Katwe are so important, to change the narrative, offer a new lens on African identity."

There's a deeper purpose in the roles Nyong'o chooses to take on, further telling Vogue, "Being able to use my platform to expand and diversify the African voice, I feel very passionate about that. It feels intentional, meaningful."

For more from Lupita, pick up the latest issue of Vogue on newsstands now. 

Lupita Nyong'o, Vogue

Mario Testino / Vogue

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