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Lupita Nyong'o 'most beautiful' woman in the world

MOST BEAUTIFUL: 12 Years A Slave actress Lupita Nyong'o

LUPITA NYONG’O has been named the ‘most beautiful’ woman in the world after topping People magazine’s round-up of aesthetically pleasing ladies.

The 12 Years A Slave actress, who has made no secret of her struggle growing up as a dark skinned girl in a world where beauty was equated with “light skin and long, flowing, straight hair,” graces the cover of the popular weekly’s 25th celebratory edition.

"I'm flattered, but flattered sounds like such a flighty word, you know?" Nyong'o told TODAY. "I'm flattered with, like, gravitas under it."

Her crowning follows a whirlwind few months for the 31-year-old who was recently presented with an Oscar for her supporting role in the Hollywood blockbuster and just last week landed a contract with cosmetic giant Lancôme.

She told People her mother “always said I was beautiful and I believed her at some point.”

Nyong'o said her mother's words encouraged her to understand that "you can’t rely on how you look to sustain you. What does sustain us ... what is fundamentally beautiful is compassion for yourself and for those around you. That kind of beauty enflames the heart and enchants the soul."

Nyong'o, who was born in Mexico and raised in Kenya was described as “the pride of Africa” by the Kenyan president and Lancôme said in a statement they chose the star because her “kind beauty, both delicate and strength-exuding, has taken the world by storm.”

Actress Michelle Pfeiffer was named ‘most beautiful’ in 1990.

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