In response to Men’s Health’s recent list of the Most Beautiful Women of All Time—which was not only devoid of many brown faces but pegged Jennifer Aniston at the top spot—the good folks behind Ashy2Classy.net decided to make a list strictly for the sisters. Polling a panel of male judges—myself included—they came up with a two-part post listing the 40 Most Beautiful Black Women of all Time (Pt. 1.// Pt. 2).
While I would have placed a few women in different slots, the list overall was spot on with a bevy of beautiful Black women on full display. In theory this should have brought some order to the world of lists about beautiful women of all shades, but as with any such endeavor, no one is ever completely happy. Soon after I posted Part 1 on the NWSO fan page someone commented about the lack of dark-skinned women. Others chimed in and two days later when Part 2, which only included a handful more darker hued women, was posted more complaints/critiques were made. So-and-so was missing… She should have been higher… Most of these women represent “European” ideals of beauty… Where are the natural sisters… That chick ain’t even Black… etc.
As I already stated, no one can ever make a truly definitive list about anything because there are way too many variables. Ask a person on any given day to name their five favorite albums and the responses could change entirely depending on their mood. Still, while I hadn’t noticed when I received the ballot, I could concede to the fact that there weren’t that many dark-skinned sisters. I doubt that was a purposeful exclusion by Ashy2Classy or the male panel, but I started to ponder if there were even 40 popular dark-skinned women of note who could fit the bill of “most beautiful of all time.”
Let me clarify that statement before it gets misconstrued, I don’t say that to mean that dark-skinned women can’t be beautiful (have you seen my fiancée?) but Hollywood/the media doesn’t put that many dark-skinned women in the spotlight. While we all may know plenty of sisters in the real-world that are stunningly dark and lovely, with lists like this those women don’t count because they’re not widely known. So you’re stuck with a shallow pool to pick from when trying to highlight well-known women of darker hues.
At any rate, I took it upon myself to do a response post to Ashy2Classy’s response post to Men’s Health‘s list, which I’ve dubbed the 40 Most Beautiful Dark-Skinned Women of All Time…Maybe. I say “maybe” because at the end of the day this is just one man’s personal opinions on who’s the “most beautiful,” based on my own preferences and where I see these women and their beauty standing up over time. I’m sure many will disagree (I know my sister did over Christmas dinner) and some will even argue that “she ain’t dark-skinned,” but for the record I consider brown-skinned women/men to fall under the “dark-skinned” umbrella. Still, I’m sure someone’s going to say so-and-so isn’t dark enough, but it’s my list and I’ll include who I want to. At the end of the day I hope most will nod their head in agreement at the overall picks and sentiment behind them.
Oh, and in an effort to level the playing field, cliché folks like Halle Berry and Stacy Dash (if you even consider them “dark-skinned”) were not eligible for my list. Why? Just because.
Now, without further ado…