Beauty is composed of an eternal, invariable element whose quantity is extremely difficult to determine, and a relative element which might be, either by turns or all at once, period, fashion, moral, passion ~ Jean-Luc Godard
When it comes to beauty, all women have to find a way to feel adequate and love themselves amidst beauty ideals that fluctuate between skinny to curvy to blonde to brunette.
African women, and other non-caucasian women, perhaps need to dig even deeper to find that place called self-love, given that the commercial industries that influence our consumer patterns have pumped out ideals of fair skinned beauty for a few centuries now.
Many of us grew up playing (perhaps only) with white dolls and flicking through magazines with (perhaps only) caucasian women. The impact of such childhood behaviours may not always be apparent, ie we have turned out quite well considering. Still, I do admire women who yet, and despite the aforementioned predicament possess both that eternal and variable element element that Godard speaks of.
When I think of the word beauty, physical appearance alone feels almost like an antonym. Instead, I see beautiful people as those whose external reflects their internal.
And there are many who match this definition, but the below came to mind when I decided to include to the seven’s category, a list of seven beautiful Afropolitan women making an impact in the motherland and the Diaspora.
Ayọ is a Nigerian – Romanian singer. She grew up with a mother who was a heroine addict until her father got custody of her when she turned fourteen. I love this video of hers, shot in my hometown Lagos. It reflect both her inner and outer beauty.
Afro jazz singer Wunmi is also a dancer and fashion designer. She was born in the UK, to Nigerian parents. In her recent video collaboration with TRoy from Broadcite, she proves that her beauty is individual, gorgeous and completely representative of her Afropolitan background.
3. Mayra Andrade
There is something about Cape Verdian women. They are not only attractive, but they also have that proud, earth-mother quality to them. Or maybe it’s just Mayra that makes me imagine so? She was born in Cuba, and has thereafter lived in Senegal, then Angola, followed by Germany, before settling on her parent’s native island of Cape Verde.
I’ve posted about Nneka’s beauty mesmerizing me before. She is truly beautiful inside and out, and her tomboyish, unintentional style only adds to her allure.
5. Shingai Shoniwa
Zimbabwean, with a name that means perseverance, and a kind but driven attitude to match, Shingai is a household name now, isn’t she? She should be! When it comes to Afropolitan style, if such a term can be coined, then Shingai is the godmother of it.
Iyadede makes me go all pop 😉 Her unique style is fun and fearless. I’m excited to hear more about this beautiful woman who escaped the Rwandan genocide by exiling to Belgium. From there she has ventured on her Afropolitan journey and is currently a Brooklyn artist.
7 Sophie Okonedo
Sophie Okonedo is the daughter of a Polish/Russian mother and a Nigerian father. Unless my research fails me, she is the first African actress to be nominated for an oscar in the actress category. Either way, her beauty seems to come from an internal source of eternal strength and soft humility at the same time.
annie q. syed says
great post, lovely!
i wish more mainstreams blogs and magazines would portray beauty of and in color of various backgrounds this way!
made me smile real big.
and you are SO right: Cape Verdian women. definitely something hey?! 🙂
wow such beauty and diversity!! just goes to show eh!! i love how each of them have their own thing going, it changes their appeal toward a more universal perspective.i don’t know too much about Iyadede but i am definitely going to go find out what she is about .
thanks for sharing.
beautiful afropolitan woman. and from what you’ve written their external matches their internal perfectly.
This was fabulous. Really inspiring. I love Shingai Shoniwa’s hair!! One day when I grow up I’ll have a do just like it! Lol!
Great read to start the day!x
you know what, I think you are off to a great start ref the hair, thanks for reading and commenting!
It’s interesting that I just commented on another blog saying that I don’t think anybody is attractive enough to get away with Naomi Cambell’s behaviour and I don’t think she’s beautiful (any more) because I see so much ugliness in who she is.
You’re totally right that beauty does not equal just physical appearance, I feel like judging beauty purely by what you see on the outside is like trying to describe the taste of a cake or food (ha ha, you know my mind always goes to cake!) merely by looking at the list of ingredients it contains.
Even though I haven’t heard of some of them, these women are all beautiful!
lol at the reference to cake, it’s quite valid.
@Vickii I know what you mean. When the whole Naomi Campbell case at the Hague was all over the news, commentators couldn’t stop talking about how beautiful she was, but I just don’t see it anymore. Intellectually, of course, I can see she is attractive, but her character shines thorugh and it’s not so pretty a picture!
@MsAfropolitan thanks for a lovely round-up! These women are inspirational, but also unique. And you’re right, as women of colour we do have to go the extra mile to find role models in the public eye, but it’s worth it 🙂
I’m glad you liked 🙂
Thanks for posting this. enlighten me, knew none of this gorgeous ladies but Nneka
I’m glad I was able to share something new and enlightening 🙂
Great post! You’ve introduced me to natural divas I’ve never heard of!
That’s great 🙂
Black Crayon says
I absolutely LOVE this post.
Just goes to show that there are beautiful successful African women out there, making a name for themselves, acting as a role model for all the aspiring black girls out there!
Thank you 🙂
There are so many – in fact I just might do a ‘7 more Afropolitan style icons’ post ;D
Yes pls do. If you could expound. I dont think you meant just physical beauty, but you didnt point out any accomplishments. Of course that could be bc you were pressed for time.
Ive heard of Ayo & nneka, but not the others. Shingai I thought would be part Asian, I woulda never guessed that to eb a Zimbabwean name. Thanks!
Just getting to see this post…
Lovely ladies!! On an annoying note, sophie and charlize got nominated in 2004… Charlize went home with the best actress award.