40 Most Beautiful Dark-Skinned Women of All-Time…Maybe

6 Posted by - December 26, 2011 - Uncategorized

[dc]I[/dc]n 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…

CLICK HERE for top 40 Most Beautiful Dark-Skinned Women of All-Time…Maybe…

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  • http://twitter.com/DCDistrictDiva District Diva

    Sooo can we discuss why Jada Pinkett Smith and Joy Bryant are on a list of the 40 Most Beautiful Dark-skinned Women? 

    • Anonymous

      I agree! Where is Camile Winbush? She should def be on the list.

  • http://twitter.com/DCDistrictDiva District Diva

    Phylicia Rashad is dark-skinned, too? Oh.

    • Anonymous

      All three are brown by my visual summation and brown equals dark in my book. All beautiful at the end of the day.. 

      • Ray.

        Fancy tho? Fancy’s not even brown skin. With all due respect, this list is just as bad as the Men’s Health list. U got A.J. Johnson in the high 40s & Bria Myles under Angela Basset?!?! I understand this is your opinion but damn. U only got about a good 15-20 actual dark skin woman on the list. About half way through I was expecting to see Halle Berry in the #1 spot.

        • Anonymous

          Did you read the intro? I broke down that brown skin and dark skin are the same IMHO. Now if you’re saying that some of the sisters are actually light skin (as in not even brown) that’s another debate but if you’re saying some are not dark enough/brown that’s all explained in intro about brown and dark being same in my book.

          End of the day, I just wonder who could really name 40 famous women that are all the way on the right of the dark skinned spectrum to fill the slots. Sadly, Hollywood/Entertainment world doesn’t given that many “super dark” sisters or brothers time in the spotlight so i pick from what’s available (and who I like personally) and go from there. 

          Can never please everyone with a list and that’s a fact I accept. But if you want my list of famous dark and lovely women, here you go with no regrets

          • Gcrear

            “Famous” may be the operative word here. I know plenty of dark-skinned women who are as, and and even more naturally beautiful, as opposed to air-brushed and made-up, as these 40 lovely ladies are. Calling these ladies “the MOST beautiful…of ALL-TIME…” may be a bit over the top.

            • Anonymous

              Yup. I mentioned the same thing in intro about knowing plenty of real-life dark and lovelies that could eclipse most in the public eye. Unfortunately, those sisters don’t get to be “famous”. 

              Appreciate the dialogue 

              • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1200376294 Goldie Crear

                Your mission, should you decide to accept it, send a photographer to any big city mall in America and show me 40 “real” beautiful dark-skinned sisters. ;)

  • MJ


  • Kresslyj

    First post, but not new to site. Ur site keeps me entertained when I have downtimes during rotations. Anyway, Nia Long is my girl crush so she should #1, as for some of the others I don’t understand

    • Anonymous

      Don’t understand in terms of not beautiful enough or not dark-skinned enough?

  • Lily78

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder..if you need a list like this or one in other various magazines to validate how you look there’s a problem..like you said there are too many variables and list like these are pointless. I could mention that there are no plus size women on this list and how you only picked overtly sexual pictures or women of a certain age, or women who only had a certain type of hair etc…beauty standard and what someone deems as attractive are extremely personal and should not set by a magazine or blog…

  • http://twitter.com/MsB616 Bunmi Akinnusotu

    great list. thanks for this. I would’ve added Kimberly Elise (her beauty is 1 of a kind) and Jill Scott–some might say she’s on the “lighter” side but i think Jill is her own planet. Even w/o make up and all the hollywood decor, she’s an amazingly stunning. Come to think of it, I’d add our First Lady as #1..i don’t think i need to explain her lol

    with regard to magazine/blogs determining who is beautiful or handsome..for the authors it’s business. They post stuff that will generate traffic, spark dialogue, etc. *shrug* take it with a grain of salt. 

    • http://twitter.com/WEKetchum William Ketchum III

      Those are both great points. Especially if the matter of skin tone is as general as it is in the list

  • http://modelmayhem.com/2451383 Wofai

    Yaya DaCosta is only #27?!?! Other than that I’m just gald to see a list appreciating the great beauty in some of our darker skinned sisters (Y)

  • Anonymous

    Hell, They’re all beautiful to me… Good list…But for me the most beautiful dark skinned woman in the world was my mother… She was hot!!!! She pasted in 1997…

  • Mameo76

    Thank you for doing this! 

  • Potato_with_Jive

    Oh damn, Garcelle Beauvais…  Love her.

    Glad you included Gabrielle Union and my old school crush Phylicia Rashaad.  Cosby show wasn’t the same without her.  And it was mostly her grace that did it.

    Now, I’m gonna be that dude that complains why you didn’t add such and such to the list.  My vote is to ditch Grace Jones and add Aisha Tyler!  Cutie with a killer smile.  Also, no Stacey Dash? Tsk Tsk

    • Anonymous

      Aisha’s a good pick. Grace may not win in the face dept but she was one confident woman nonetheless and made an impact that I couldn’t deny. Plus her complexion is crazy

  • NYDiva641

    Sooo…I certainly wouldn’t call most of these women dark-skinned (or even brown for that matter). What’s more interesting is that almost every single one is half-naked/provocatively dressed and not one is on the larger side of the spectrum. I mean, even Phylicia Rashad is shown revealing cleavage. Does sex appeal and thin equal beauty? Just a question…

    • Anonymous

      the color complexion will be an on-going debate that varies by each individuals’ perception of color hues so i won’t go down that path. As for the provocative images, I’m a man that likes provocative images/women so there you have it. I’m sure if a woman made the list not only would the nominees be different but the pics as well.

      As for your other query, i actually have a question for you: Can you name/list 40 dark-skinned and plus-sized famous women that would fit such a list? Not saying such women don’t exist in the real-world, but like I said in the intro when pulling from the Hollywood/entertainment pool—which you’re forced to for recognition purposes—you have limited options. Only person I can think of is Toccara, as other options like Mo’Nique just personally isn’t attractive to me and that’s based off face with no regard for her weight. 

      In fact, I did a ode to the big and beautiful many years ago that you can peep here:


      • NYDiva641

        If I thought long enough, yes I probably could list 40 beautiful plus-sized dark/brown skinned famous women. It would include names like Jill Scott, Queen Latifah, and Chrissette Michele. I wasn’t suggesting that the WHOLE list should be plus sized. But a sprinkle of thickness and women w/ clothes on would have been a nice balance. #ijs

        • Anonymous

          I’ll co-sign Jill and Chrisette whole heartedly. Jill made one of my previous lists and Chrisette is utterly stunning. Jill was actually on the plus-sized list with Jennifer Hudson. So I been up on J-Hud way before her weight loss. She’s actually a bit too skinny to me but I digress. as long as she’s happy and healthy. 

          (Sorry Queen’s not my cup of tea, not saying she’s unattractive she just doesn’t do it for me personally and is average in my eyes #NoOffense). 

          Booo to clothes on this is Naked With Socks On LOL

          • NYDiva641

            Oh yes! How could I forget! Lol #carryon

        • Jessica

          Please! do, lol. I’d definitely be looking forward to this list.

      • Jessica

        Mia Amber is crazy gorgeous! Thick, dark and irresistable x}

  • Thawrite1

    You forgot Michelle Obama! :-)

    • Anonymous

      All I’m going to say is… no comment

  • liberiangirl

    You have great taste in women. I loved the list :-)

  • Kimberly_dsr

    You have Kenya and Tika in top 2, soooooo you sealed the deal for me I don’t care about any other order anymore , you got the top two MORE than correct!! ;}

  • Nicole Peters

    Jada Pinkett doesn’t qualify as dark skinned

    • Anonymous

      So you’re saying she’s light skinned? Personally, I disagree with that she toasted almond in my eyes

      • Aries0327

        Toasted almond…..I like. LOL. I’ll have use that one. Oh yeah. U do the armpit thing too? Lolol.

  • Anonymous

    Where is Keisha Knight Pulliam?? She is gorgeous!

    Also where is Miss Universe Leila Lopes, Eva Marcille, Eve, and also Ciara

  • http://twitter.com/MsNikki0312 Nikki P.

    First let me say ALL of these women are beautiful no questions (I’m still questioning where Mrs. Obama is but I’m gonna leave that alone). Nonetheless, I think when the majority of people (including me) hear “dark skinned” they think more of the lines of like India Arie, Naturi Naughton (girl who played Lil Kim), Kelly Rowland, etc.  I have to agree, some of these beautiful women I don’t consider “dark-skinned” but like NWSO said it depends on the person. But Jada and Phylicia Rashad are a SERIOUS stretch, but I digress. I will say it took me a few minutes to even think of those 3 dark-skinned sisters which is a whole ‘nother subject. (Pssttt NWSO I think I just gave you something to write a new blog about)

    • NickleSlick

      No sweetie dark skin is lauryn hill or the girl that played nessa off the bernie mack show the people you named wasnt even dark skin

  • http://twitter.com/IntoTheScene Mickey Shufflesalot

    Most these comments just prove that no matter what you do, someone will complain about it. Smh.

  • http://twitter.com/EroticaTales Miss-E

    Given the handful of dark-skin women that get mainstream attention in hollywood, I love and agree with this list. Some ladies appeared on it that I didn’t even think to name like Kenya Moore and Malinda Willimas.

  • Sage

    I’d include Sherri Sheperd of The View, Taraji P. Henson, and most certainly Michelle Obama.

  • Shezmania

    I absolutely love this site…

    How can one Forget Mrs Michelle Obama?!?!? You lost me there.

  • Mike

    Thanks for bringing focus to this subject. Very well done. Just to let you know I’m not a blogger but I thought I should hit you with 2 women you might have overlooked that I thought should be recognized because of their outer beauty, intelligence and great hearts, Cherokee, the singer/musician/model & Sheryl Lee Ralph (super talented & super fine). This is just my opinion. In case you forgot here are some photos & a recent track & back-in-the day video from Cherokee.

    So Suga Street by Cherokee

    A Day In The Life of Cherokee

    Cherokee Gap Commercial

    Piece of the Action w/Sheryl Lee Ralph

  • http://twitter.com/SngleMarriedGuy Geoff Ratliff

    This is a fine list, but I think the real challenge is keeping it to 40. I’m sure with a little more effort the panel could have created a top 100 that would have blown Maxim’s list out of the water. Great work!!!

  • WaterLove

    Thanks for doing this list.  While I wouldn’t consider some dark-skinned, you explained your point of view in your intro.  My favs from your list are Nia Long, Nona Gaye, and Kenya Moore.  I am surprised Taral Hicks didn’t make the list though.

    • NWSO

      Taral Hicks, yeah that’s a big one I neglected to recall #Drat

  • AfroPetite

    As a darker skinned woman, I really appreciate you doing this list. It’s so unfortunate that a list specifically catered to dark skinned beautiful women needs to be drawn up just so we chocolate ladies can get some shine. I’ve always thought Kenya Moore’s beauty was underrated, she is gorgeous! Here’s some honorable mentions I came up with:

    Kim PorterTaral Hicks 
    Kent KingVanessa Bell Calloway
    Judy Pace
    Marpessa Dawn 

    and whoever this beautiful woman is 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1129971434 Robert Solomon

    society hasn’t learned yet….smh why even separate or even focus on the fact that they’re dark-skinned…SMH!!!  How about just 40 beautiful women..period

    • Anonymous

      Because when the brothers over at Ashy2Classy.net made that list all the ladies were upset that there weren’t enough “dark-skinned” sisters, so figured I’d highlight the beautiful dark & lovelies of the world.
      I hear you though Black is Black and Black is beautiful. #KanyeShrug

      Anslem Samuel
      Writer/Editor/Relationship Consultant/Radio Host http://about.me/anslemsamuel

      Creator/Founder of Naked With Socks On [http://NWSO.net] @NakedWithSocks

      Host of the Naked Radio Show [Tuesdays 10pm-12am EST on http://PNCRadio.fm @NakedRadioShow

  • http://twitter.com/WEKetchum William Ketchum III

    I would’ve placed Malinda Williams much higher on the list, she’s a personal favorite. The one photo didn’t do her beauty justice, lol. Glad my baby Bria’s in the Top 20; she’s in my current Top 5. Good sleeper pick for #1 too, Kenya Moore is up there.

    Overall, damn good list, Ans. Salute.

  • Anonymous

    there all beautiful ;) ;)

  • Lady Belle

    All these women are beautiful but Meagan Goode and Janet Jackson should have been more close to number #1 The orders a little out of wack.

  • Rintintin

    No Barocca or Shari Belafonte?

  • Jehosh

    I love thick Fox Brown.

  • Jehosh

    Regina King needs to eat like a grown woman damn it.

  • Jehosh

    Whoa! My dude, Jada Pinkett is darkskinned? Since when? No offence I love this site, just sayin that broad is lightskinned.

  • Jehosh

    Angela Bassett is every black man’s No.1 Nia Long a close 2nd.

  • Guest

    I didn’t expect to see Alek Wek high on the list, if at all. Most people don’t get her kind of beauty, but I’m glad you did. :)

  • Smoothdoug139

    Think bria myles shld b # 2

  • http://loverules.us/ Ecmdeveaux

    Really?  None of the barrier breaking supermodels on either list??  Grace Jones!?  Alek Wek?

  • http://www.facebook.com/buster.mcdermott Buster McDermott

    They’re all looked simply stunning and an inspiration. I’ve always been a fan of these hottest black girls. http://www.ranker.com/list/the-30-hottest-black-girls-under-40/greg

  • http://www.facebook.com/buster.mcdermott Buster McDermott

    They’re all looked simply stunning and an inspiration. I’ve always been a fan of these hottest black girls. http://www.ranker.com/list/the-30-hottest-black-girls-under-40/greg

  • http://www.facebook.com/rebrandingnigeria.clubs Re-Branding Nigeria Clubs

    Too much ignorance of true black beauty on parade here.

    How can you select  40 Most Beautiful Dark-Skinned Women of All-Time only from the United States of America without the real black beauties from Africa and the Americas, including Brazil?

    Please, expand your knowledge of black beauty as you can see on the African Beauty Blog on http://africanbeauty.blogspot.com/.

  • Mzee Fulani

    These are certainly 40+12 beautiful women, but you have only one African and one Haitian. If you included Africans and West Indians on the list, only about a dozen Americans would make it. Personally, I would put Oluchi Onweagba, Zainab Sheriff, Genevieve Nnaji , and Aissa Maiga in the top 5 of any list, regardless of skin color. A quibble: Serebe Wms is pretty, with the body of a black Schwarzenegger. But her sister Venus is truly beautiful and gets lovelier every year. No list of beautiful black Americans should have her outide the top 5 or 10.

  • cocoasweet

    Regina King isn’t really dark. Can we agree that dark is the color of a Hershey bar or darker? That’s dark. Everybody else is medium and light.

  • Mzee Fulani

    They’re all beautiful but calling this list “most beautiful” is nonsense when you include not a single African woman, and generally ignore the Caribbean as well. Also if you use the term “dark-skinned” you open it up to Indians and others. And please, everyone, let’s stop putting Serena Williams on these lists while ignoring her beautiful sister Venus.

  • Erno Linnola

    Hardly any of these women were actually dark-skin color black women. There were mostly light skin color, absolutely too light skin color.

  • Darkling

    Jada Pinkett is NOT dark! Anyway, dark is not beautiful because if dark were beautiful then the photos of these women wouldnt make them look so light. Dark is ugly and our actions show that we all know it.

  • http://twitter.com/BASTICH4ME Carl Broughton

    ALFRIE WOODARD and Nia Long. Also: ANGELA BASSETT; Robin Givens:Regina King;

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Irvine/563925979 Michael Irvine

    …. “of all time”… I guess time began in 1970 ( Pam Grier ) and with very few exceptions clocks only tick in the United States of America.

  • FACE

    All I know is that Kenya Moore can fart bare-assed right in my damn face

  • Pedro

    Marpessa Dawn should be no. 1, and she’s not even on the list.

  • NickleSlick

    I noticed the closer to the top it got the lighter the women got and half these women on here aint even dark skin. If you gone do the list be real and do it right. If you gone keep trying to satisfy your white or mullotto backers by trying to keep passing off carmel colored damn near light skin women as dark skin dont even bother to do it some of this is actually an insult to true dark skin people