Lupita Nyong'o: The Moment I Felt I Was Beautiful

04/23/2014 at 01:30 PM EDT



This PEOPLE's Most Beautiful cover star is having a banner year. She's won an Oscar for her breakout role in 12 Years a Slave, dazzled Hollywood and just about everyone else with her red carpet style and is the new face of Lancôme.

Touted for her beauty, style and grace, Lupita Nyong'o tells PEOPLE she became aware of her allure only as a teen. "I was 16 and in Mexico in a small town and by far one of the only black people in the town," she says. "I was in the town square and it was market day…and a friend of mine walked up to me with a friend of hers, who was a photographer. He was marveled by me and asked me whether he could take my picture. It was the first time I had ever done a photo shoot and the first time anyone had ever expressed an interest to capture my image and I felt extremely beautiful."

That powerful aha moment Nyong'o describes is something every women can identify with. Now we want to hear what makes you feel beautiful. Post a video and tag it #IFeelBeautifulWhen on Instagram, Vine or Facebook for a chance to see it on PEOPLE.com!

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