She won the Oscar, and now she decorates People's Most Beautiful cover.
Lupita Nyong'o is having a big year.
There was no contest about this year's pick, People editorial director Jess Cagle told NBC's "Today."
"I'm flattered, but flattered sounds like such a flighty word. Flattered with gravitas under it," she told Savannah Guthrie in an exclusive interview on "Today."
"Today" replayed footage of Nyong'o at an Essence luncheon talking about wishing she could wake up with lighter skin because she was insecure about her complexion at 16. Nyong'o called it an incredible journey to go from that feeling to being on the Most Beautiful cover.
Of being on the cover, she said: "I hope it means something to more than just me, to people who like me feel unbeautiful in whatever skin they're in."
Nyong'o became a trendsetter on the red carpet this year as she worked her way through the awards circuit for "12 Years a Slave." She won the supporting Oscar for that harrowing drama.
"She is incredibly stylish, but the way she carries herself with such grace and such humility is what put her over the top," Cagle said.
Nyong'o said the Oscar had opened doors for her, but told "Today" that she couldn't discuss future projects.
She said it was fun to attend the Oscars with brother Peter Nyong'o, who attends Stetson University in DeLand.
Nyong'o told "Today" she had no idea that famous, multi-celebrity selfie would happen at the Oscars. But her brother got both of them in the photo with Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Jennifer Lawrence and Ellen DeGeneres.
"He is out for a good time," Nyong'o said. "It's good I went with my brother. ...I was like, 'Should we?' And he was like, 'I'm going.' He was already there."
The People Most Beautiful cover also has smaller photos of actresses Roberts, Lawrence and Julianna Margulies ("The Good Wife"). Maybe next year they could make room for beautiful teachers, scientists and war heroes.
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