Actress Lupita Nyong'o. (Picture: REUTERS, JEAN-PAUL PELISSIER)
The Oscar-winning actress - who was born in Mexico to Kenyan parents - says her "natural, African, kinky hair" has been "shunned" within the entertainment and fashion industries and she has lost out on work because of it.

But now as a prominent Hollywood star, Lupita feels it is her responsibility to encourage other ladies who share her heritage to be proud of the locks nature gave them.

Speaking to Porter magazine - of which she is the cover star - she said: "My hair is something that, historically, has been shunned. I mean, how often do you hear 'You can't get a job with hair like that?'

"Natural, African, kinky hair - it's often been painted as uncivilised or wild. Being featured on the cover of a magazine fulfils me as it is an opportunity to show other dark, kinky-haired people, and particularly our children, that they are beautiful just the way they are"

The '12 Years a Slave' star is writing a children's book to help young dark-skinned children to be proud of their looks.

The tome is titled 'Sulwe' - which means "Star" in Lupita's native language Luo - and is focused on a five-year-old girl and her life growing up in Kenya.

Sulwe has the darkest skin colour in her family and she wants to find a way to lighten her tone but over the course of the story she embarks on a fantastical nighttime adventure that helps her see beauty differently.

The book is being released by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers in January 2019.