Essence Black Women In Hollywood Awards - Inside
Getty Images

17 Women Of Color Just As Beautiful As Julia Roberts

Keep it real. 

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.

Gina Rodriguez
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.

Sandra Oh
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.

Viola Davis
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.

Lupita Nyong’o
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.

Zoe Saldana
"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.

Kerry Washington
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?

Rihanna
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.

Naomi Campbell
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.

Eva Longoria
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.

Jhene Aiko
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?

Serena Williams
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.

Misty Copeland
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.

From the Web

More on Vibe

Nick Rice

25 Hip-Hop Albums By Bomb Womxn Of 2018

The female voice in hip-hop has always been present whether we've noticed it or not. The late Sylvia Robinson birthed the hip-hop music industry with the formation of Sugar Hill Records (and fostering "Rapper's Delight"), Roxanne Shante's 55 lyrical responses to fellow rappers were the first diss tracks and Missy Elliott's bold and striking music and visuals inspired men and women in the game to step outside of their comfort zones.

These pillars and many more have allowed the next generation of emcees to be unapologetically brash, truthful and confident in their music. Cardi B's Invasion of Privacy and Nicki Minaj's Queen might've been the most mainstream albums by womxn in rap this year, but there was a long list of creatives who brought the noise like Rico Nasty, Tierra Whack, Noname and Bbymutha. Blame laziness or the heavy onslaught of music hitting streaming sites this year, but many of the artists on this list have hibernated under the radar for far too long.

VIBE decided to switch things up but also highlighting rap albums by womxn who came strong in their respectively debut albums, mixtapes, EPs. We also had to give props to those who dropped standout singles, leaving us wanting more.

READ MORE: 15 R&B Songs We Obsessed Over Most In 2018

Continue Reading
VIBE / Nick Rice

10 Most Important Hip-Hop Artists Of 2018

We’ve reached another end to an eventful year in hip-hop. From rap beefs to new music releases and milestones, 2018 has been forged in the history books as a year to remember. But more important than the events that happened over the span of 12 months are the people who made them happen.

While fans received a large dose of music from our favorite artists and celebrated some of the most iconic album anniversaries, there are a few names that stood out as the culture pushers, sh*t starters, and all-around most significant artists of the year.

For your enjoyment, VIBE compiled a list of the top 10 most important hip-hop artists of 2018 based on a series of qualifications: 1) public actions - good, bad, and ugly; 2) music releases; 3) philanthropic/humanitarian work; and 4) trending moments.

Be clear: This list isn’t about the most influential, the most talented, who had the best music or tours. While we are commemorating artists for the work they’ve contributed to this year’s music cycle, we’re looking beyond that and evaluating how these particular artists have shaped conversations and pushed hip-hop culture forward.

READ MORE: 15 R&B Songs We Obsessed Over Most In 2018

Continue Reading
VIBE / Nick Rice

15 R&B Songs We Obsessed Over Most In 2018

Hip-hop may have become the Nielsen Music-declared most dominant music genre, but let's not overlook the strides R&B (including all its many sub-genres and cousin genres) have taken on the airwaves and within the culture in this year alone.

While persistent naysayers keep peddling the tired argument that "R&B is dead," the most recent news cycle has proven the exact opposite, as talks of a supposed King of R&B dominated discussions both on- and offline. Jacquees' lofty declaration notwithstanding, there's no denying that there are ample songs swimming around the 'Net from talented vocalists killing it within the genre.

For those looking to satiate rhythm and blues earworms—and in no particular order—VIBE compiled a list of the 15 bonafide R&B songs of 2018 (or at least ones that fall within the genre's orbit) that pulled us into our feelings each and every time we pressed play.

READ MORE: Let Jacquees Tell It, He’s The Jodeci Of This R&B Game

Continue Reading

Top Stories