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Despite being named by People as the Most Beautiful Person of 2014Lupita Nyong’o hasn’t always felt that way about herself. Earlier this year at the Essence Black Women In Hollywood Luncheon where she received Best Breakthrough Performance for her role in 12 Years a Slave, the Oscar-winning actress revealed that it was Sudanese supermodel Alek Wek whose strong presence in magazines and on the runway helped her to love the skin she’s in:

“My mother reminded me often that she thought that I was beautiful but that was no consolation: She’s my mother, of course she’s supposed to think I am beautiful. And then Alek Wek came on the international scene. A celebrated model, she was dark as night, she was on all of the runways and in every magazine and everyone was talking about how beautiful she was. Even Oprah called her beautiful and that made it a fact….When I saw Alek I inadvertently saw a reflection of myself that I could not deny.”

During her People cover shoot, Lupita, who serves as inspiration for black girls and women everywhere, had the opportunity to sit down with her own inspiration for a truly beautiful full-circle moment.

Watch the pair during their touching teatime above.

VIDEO CREDIT: People

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