From the cold and windy streets of Chi town, to being a household name recognizable from American Idol, to landing the coveted role as “Effie” on the hit motion picture, Dreamgirls, to winning numerous awards and recognitions including a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild award, and now an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in a motion picture, Jennifer Hudson’s road to success has been an instant one.

Ever since the debut of Dreamgirls, Hudson’s popularity has skyrocketed. She recently graced the cover of Vogue, a publication that rarely displays ethnic beauty- making Hudson only the third African American woman behind Oprah Winfrey and Halle Berry to earn the esteemed cover. For a full figured woman to grace the cover of a magazine that reserved its cover for starlet beauties, the 25-year-old triple threat has knowingly redefined high fashion aesthetics and affirmed that black full figured women can be beautiful and fashionable.

Her Oscar win is also a historical achievement. Yes, the golden statue makes her an A-list star and confirms her acting abilities amongst Hollywood elite, but more importantly Hudson now joins the small number of Black Hollywood talents who have won Oscar fame such as Halle Berry, Denzel Washington, Sidney Poitier, Haittie McDaniel, Whoppi Goldberg, and Cuba Gooding Jr. The culmination of her successes thus far is particularly relevant as we continue to celebrate black achievement.

A year ago, Hudson, with her big beautiful smile, vivacious curves, solid sense of confidence, and subtle elegance, didn’t set out to conquer the fashion and entertainment industry so fast. However, it goes to show that with determination and humbleness anyone, even a young woman from the south of Chicago with dreams of becoming a star, can fulfill a dream and make history while doing so.