Actress Lupita Nyong'o arrives at the 2014 MTV Movie Awards in Los Angeles, California on April 13, 2014.  Picture: Danny Moloshok
Actress Lupita Nyong'o arrives at the 2014 MTV Movie Awards in Los Angeles, California on April 13, 2014. Picture: Danny Moloshok
This image provided by People magazine shows the cover of its special "World's Most Beautiful" issue, featuring Lupita Nyong'o. Picture: AP Photo/People
This image provided by People magazine shows the cover of its special "World's Most Beautiful" issue, featuring Lupita Nyong'o. Picture: AP Photo/People
Actress Lupita Nyong'o arrives at Miu Miu's ready to wear fall/winter 2014-2015 fashion collection presented in Paris on March 5, 2014. AP Photo/Zacharie Scheurer
Actress Lupita Nyong'o arrives at Miu Miu's ready to wear fall/winter 2014-2015 fashion collection presented in Paris on March 5, 2014. AP Photo/Zacharie Scheurer
Lupita Nyong'o, best supporting actress winner for her role in "12 Years a Slave", reacts on stage at the 86th Academy Awards in Hollywood.  REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Lupita Nyong'o, best supporting actress winner for her role in "12 Years a Slave", reacts on stage at the 86th Academy Awards in Hollywood. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Lupita Nyong'o attends Marie Claire Celebrates May Cover Stars on April 8, 2014 in West Hollywood, California.   Jason Merritt/Getty Images for Marie Claire/AFP
Lupita Nyong'o attends Marie Claire Celebrates May Cover Stars on April 8, 2014 in West Hollywood, California. Jason Merritt/Getty Images for Marie Claire/AFP
Actress Lupita Nyong'o attends the 25th annual GLAAD Media Awards in Beverly Hills, California on April 12, 2014. REUTERS/Phil McCarten
Actress Lupita Nyong'o attends the 25th annual GLAAD Media Awards in Beverly Hills, California on April 12, 2014. REUTERS/Phil McCarten

Los Angeles - Oscar-winning Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong'o was named Most Beautiful person of 2014 by People magazine Wednesday, following in the footsteps of stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Julia Roberts and Tom Cruise.

The 31-year-old, who won best supporting actress for her role in “12 Years a Slave,” said she only felt beautiful when she left Kenya aged 16, and learned the importance of looks from her mother.

“She taught me that your presentation is an expression of how much you care about yourself and those around you,” she told the magazine, a Hollywood celebrity bible.

“My mother always said I was beautiful. When I went to Mexico at 16, that was the first time I felt beautiful.”

Following Nyong'o as People's top beauty was Keri Russell in second place, followed by Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Mindy Kaling, and singer Pink in fifth.

Other past winners of the Most Beautiful person accolade include Cindy Crawford, Mel Gibson and Leonardo DiCaprio. - Sapa-AFP