Lupita Nyong'o attends the 2014 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 13, 2014 in Los Angeles.
Jason Merritt—Getty Images for MTV
April 23, 2014 8:38 AM EDT

Lupita Nyong’o has been named People‘s “Most Beautiful”, landing a cover shoot for this week’s issue.

The actress, 31, was People‘s 25th “Most Beautiful” star. The magazine has been naming the 50 most beautiful celebrities in the world since 1990, when Michelle Pfeiffer was named most beautiful.

Nyong’o shot to fame as the slave Patsey in Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave and won an Academy Award for the role. Nyong’o recently landed a contract with the luxury beauty product brand Lancome Paris.

The actress told People that while growing up, she equated beauty with “light skin and long, flowing, straight hair,” and as a teen died her hair every color except blond and even shaved her head.

Growing up in Kenya, Nyong’o’s mother, who is the managing director and head of PR for the Africa Cancer Foundation, “always said I was beautiful,” the actor said. “And I believed her at some point.”

PEOPLE’s Most Beautiful Women: Then & Now

From Child Stars to Grown-up Beauties

Most Beautiful at Every Age



More Must-Read Stories From TIME

Contact us at

Read More From TIME
You May Also Like