17 Women Of Color Just As Beautiful As Julia Roberts
People Magazine just announced that Julia Roberts was dubbed the top spot on their “World’s Most Beautiful Women” list—for the fifth time. However deserving the Pretty Woman is of such a title, is there really that much of a scarcity of beautiful women that it’s necessary to reward the Hollywood veteran the title again?
The popular culture magazine taglines her cover with “how she stays forever young” letting us into her “happy marriage, life with 3 kids – and best beauty tips!” The extent and lack of depth to which People defines beauty is understandable, due to the tabloid nature of the publication. But, being in the year of Trump brought out a lot of racial, intersectional and systemic divide in our nation, one would think an influencer of popular culture might attend to this specific aspect that has been beating in the hearts of our nation’s people since the 45th’s run—especially when the magazine in question has only featured three women of color as their numero unos in its 27 years of history including: Beyonce Knowles-Carter (2013), Halle Berry (2003), and Jennifer Lopez (2011). They represent the only faces for their respective cultures to ever be featured as the number spot. An Asian American woman has never fronted the cover.
We recognize that our country is in a state of hyper-vigilance toward any form of divisiveness and representation – or lack thereof – so we’ve formed an alternative list of powerful women of color who were just as deserving of People’s No. 1 spot as the fifth-timer.
Aja Naomi King
The young actress has been paving a lane for herself as powerful role model for the younger generation of celebrities from the break of her role as Michaela Pratt on How To Get Away With Murder. She has stood strong in the support of activism on a variety of levels, acts as mentor to Black-ish’s, Yara Shahidi, and landed covers on some of the most beauty- and style-oriented magazines this year including Vanity Fair and Marie Claire.
Jane The Virgin front runner had one of the most “wow” red carpet moments of this year with her icy, 20s-inspired look at the Golden Globe Awards. But, behind the scenes, the Bourica carries herself as a beautiful person on the inside as well. She orchestrated her own hashtag, #MovementMondays to highlight Latinx artists because of the lack of notoriety and is putting her activism guns to use as often as she can, as she attended the Women’s March in LA in January.
The Canadian-born actress was a cast member of Shondaland’s cornerstone televisions series for #TGIThursday, Grey’s Anatomy. Not to mention the Korean-descended actress has flaunted her beauty in the past on the cover of Marie Claire.
Next up is the iconic Viola Davis. If earning the rare accolade of the acting Triple Crown, starring in another one of Shondaland’s #TGIThursday shows, and being featured in August Wilson’s screen-adaptation of Fences isn’t enough, how about her alluring and inspiring “exhume those bodies” Oscars speech for another way to stay forever young?
Taraji P Henson
What’s more gorgeous than the multi-faceted Taraji, Cookie, Yvette, and Katherine? Henson has been taking roles that represent the multiplicative nature of black women since she’s been in the game. Her most recent and most monumental was her stint as Katherine Johnson in Hidden Figures. What’s more beautiful than being in a position to represent the many faces and personalities of the culture that you identify with?
Priyanka Chopra, Quantico
This Bollywood actress also quadruples as a singer, film producer and philanthropist. Oh, and she won the 2000 Miss World Beauty Pageant. I think the super-beauty queen’s resume speaks for itself.
Salma Hayek, Frida
The Mexican-American actress has covered nearly every magazine possible. She’s also developed quite the award collection as well as she took home Glamour’s ‘Woman of the Year’ in 2001, became the Harvard Foundation’s ‘Artist of the Year’ in 2006, was named one of the ‘25 Most Influential Hispanics’ by TIME in 2005, and even became a Chevalier (Knight) of the Legion of Honour – one of the highest French orders of merit for civil or military merits. Talk about regal beauty.
The Mexican-born actress stole everyone’s hearts, just a few years back, with her breakout role in 12 Years A Slave, Nyong’o has been owning every red carpet she steps foot on sense. Not to mention she’s received the Glamour Award for ‘Woman of the Year’ in 2014. She has since covered nearly every beauty and fashion magazine possible including W Magazine, Marie Claire, Vogue, Glamour, and more.
“Look at me. I’m skinny, I have a big nose, no tits and no ass, but in a room full of beautiful women, I would still leave with the most gorgeous guy.” This infamous quote about her confidence that she shared with Latina should be enough to make her the most beautiful woman in the world for at least one of People’s 27 years.
Mrs. Washington stands as the third of reigning Shondaland actresses and for viable reasons. She most covered Marie Claire discussing life, love and the pursuit of democracy. What’s more beautiful than a confident, talented woman who uses her platform to reveal the intersectionality between biracial heterosexual marriage and her allies of the GLAAD Awards?
The Barbadian triple threat is probably arguably one of the most uniquely and groundbreakingly beautiful women in the entertainment industry of this era. She’s already been named the ‘Sexiest Woman Alive’ by Esquire in 2011, and has grown into her own definition of sophisticated beauty ever since. Just being honored with Harvard’s ‘Humanitarian of the Year’ award this year, she clearly has the heart to match.
Campbell will forever go down as one of the, if not the fiercest supermodels of all time. Her beauty and relevance will forever be evergreen as she’s proven to remain on the top of her game withstanding the harsh criticism of the fashion industry throughout her 3 decades of activity.
The Tejano actress and business woman has embodied timeless beauty since the moment she stepped on the scene and was recognized for her role in The Young And The Restless as Isabella Braña. Since then, she has expanded her empire into her own production company, UnbeliEVAble Entertainment and being honored with The Hollywood Reporter’s ‘Philanthropist of the Year’ in 2009. Not to mention, she has quite the catalogue of magazine covers to vouch for her beauty.
The singer and songwriter, who has a father of African American descent and mother of Japanese descent, has generated a calm, but powerful storm for herself in the music industry. Known for being as real as they come and more open than most in her lyrics, the artist has created an intimate fan base that has kick started her longevity. Not to mention, when the Sean Don himself refers to you as a mix of Aaliyah and Sade, what else can you be besides beautiful?
The tennis all-star has been running the game for awhile now with being donned the player with most grand slam titles in the Open Era with a whopping 23 titles. Not to mention, she flaunted her revenge body in the video for Beyonce’s most recent empowering breakup single, “Sorry” from Lemonade. That should be enough to don her the most beautiful woman, along with the added glow she’ll receive from her recently-announced pregnancy.
Kimora Lee Simmons
Another top supermodel to nearly sum up our list is Kimora Lee Simmons. The fashion mogul is the epitome of beauty as she’s matriculated the school of fashion by excelling from stepping from the runway to becoming a designer herself. Entering the industry at the young age of 14, Simmons has covered many multi-cultural editions of Harper’s Bazaar.
Last, but certainly not least is the melanated ballerina herself. She’s broken several barriers for dancers of color. Aside from being the first African American dancer elevated to Principal Dancer at the American Ballet Theater, she’s also graced the list of ESPN’s 2015 ‘Impact 25’ athletes and influencers and earned Glamour’s ‘Woman of the Year’ nod. If that’s not enough, her beauty should exude through the masses of younger girls and women she’s inspired to approach and break barriers in the dancing world.